companies involved in the partnership intend to use distributed ledgers to
“help transform and upgrade the financial, e-commerce, entertainment and other
industries,” according to a press release that Microsoft distributed
late last month.
announcement provided little in the way of technical details about how the
collaboration will work, but instead focused mostly on ambitious statements
from executives at the companies involved about the potential that blockchain
technology has for improving the way that enterprises do business, particularly
appear, however, that the Azure Blockchain Workbench, the blockchain platform that
runs in Microsoft’s public cloud, will form one key technological component of
the partnership. Sun Jikang, general manager for Microsoft Taiwan, mentioned
the Azure cloud in comments related to the partnership.
not, however, mention Azure Blockchain Workbench specifically, so it’s possible
that the companies might be envisioning a different Azure-based blockchain
also be inferred that the collaboration might focus, at least in part, on using
the blockchain to improve transaction processing. Online transactions,
especially those related to the gaming industry, are the focus of China Binary.
Wind to Microsoft’s Blockchain Sails
tell which specific solutions arise from the partnership. What’s worth noting now, however, is what the news reveals
about the future of Microsoft’s endeavors within the blockchain ecosystem.
Microsoft offers a cloud-based blockchain development platform via Azure, it
would be a stretch to call Microsoft the leading provider of cloud-based blockchain
development solutions. That title probably goes, at least for now, to IBM,
whose Blockchain Platform is (arguably) the most serious
enterprise-focused blockchain solution currently available.
skeptics might say that Microsoft’s Blockchain Workbench is just an attempt to
keep pace with AWS, which offers its own cloud-based blockchain solution for developers.
said, there are good reasons to see Taiwan as a ripe new frontier for
enterprise-centric blockchain innovation. Taiwanese legislators announced an
effort in March to promote blockchain technology within the country. That makes
Taiwan a more attractive place for enterprise blockchain investment than China,
for instance, where the regulatory future of blockchain technology appears
somewhat less bright.
technology has also already received significant endorsement for real-world use
cases by major Taiwanese companies, including Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank,
which announced support for Ethereum-based payments in
So, for a
company like Microsoft that seeks to bolster its credibility as a provider of
enterprise blockchain services, Taiwan would appear to be a good place to
partnership, then, serves as a sign of Microsoft’s eagerness to prove the
viability of its enterprise blockchain solution in a growing market where it
will face less competition from other large American companies with cloud-based
blockchain platforms of their own.