The tech giant is teaming up with startup ConsensYs to launch a cloud-based blockchain platform that will enable financial institutions to experiment with the lauded technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
“Working with our customers that wanted to start playing around with blockchain technology, the major pain point that we kept hearing from them was that it was just too hard to get started, and too expensive,” Marley Gray, Microsoft’s director of tech strategy for financial services, said to Reuters.
Bitcoin’s potential has been a matter for hot debate, with JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon recently ruling it out as a “waste of time”, but the blockchain, or distributed ledger technology that makes it possible
The number of mainstream financial services experimenting with the blockchain grows day by day, and just yesterday a report suggested that most banks could begin implementing the technology by 2016.
For the industry, blockchain’s attraction lies in the potential the decentralised ledger has to increase efficiency and slash costs.
The idea behind Microsoft’s new platform is that it will make it simple for financial instutitions to create their own private blockchains.