Bank Of America Partners With Microsoft On Azure Blockchain Development

By October 4, 2016Bitcoin Business

Microsoft and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have announced they will collaborate on blockchain technology running on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The announcement, at SWIFT’s annual Sibos conference in Genevra last week, said the two firms will work together to build and test the technology with an initial focus on trade finance. In addition, Microsoft treasury, which invests and manages the company’s billions in cash, will serve as a client in tests to establish “the first Microsoft Azure-powered blockchain transaction between a major corporate treasury and financial institution”, according to the announcement. During Sibos it became clear that banks vendors and consultancies were active in blockchain projects, even as it wasn’t always clear what blockchain could do, or even how it is defined. Marley Gray, principal architect project manager for Azure blockchain engineering at Microsoft, said many banks don’t know what they were looking at or looking for when it comes to blockchain. Microsoft has partnered with R3 and now offers more than 40 different blockchain platforms to choose from, said Gray, giving companies a great deal of choice, although some of the platforms aren’t as useful for the enterprise he added. In June, Microsoft launched Project Bletchley to fill some gaps in blockchain offerings such as secure identity and key management, Gray said. (See also Gray’s blog post on cryptlets which provide a way for developers to integrated blockchain into existing systems.) Performance has been a weak point in public blockchains, the sort used for Bitcoin where transactions are conducted between parties who don’t know each other. Throughput there can be under 10 transactions per second, wholly inadequate for financial services. Gray said a blockchain where all the participants are known can scale to tens of thousands transactions per second. Microsoft ran a proof of concept with Bank of […]

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