Microsoft announced its fully managed Azure Blockchain Service in a press release on May 2.
The new blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform will purportedly allow users to build blockchain applications on preconfigured network.
According to Microsoft’s head of corporate communications, Frank Shaw, this service “simplifies the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks.”
Shaw further noted that Azure Blockchain Service can create a new consortium network “in a few simple clicks,” or let the user perform basic operations like adding new members to the network.
Quorum, an open source blockchain platform backed by JPMorgan Chase, is the first platform that can be managed via Azure Blockchain Service. Azure CTO Mark Russinovich explained the choice:
“Because it’s built on the popular Ethereum protocol, which has the world’s largest blockchain developer community, Quorum is a natural choice.”
Microsoft Azure released its blockchain app creation service Azure Blockchain Workbench in May 2018. This platform was also designed to automate aspects of blockchain-related work — in this case to streamline blockchain app development by providing readily available infrastructure for the developer.
In October 2018, Microsoft Azure joined forces with Nasdaq. Nasdaq opted to integrate Azure blockchain technology into its financial framework with the expectation that it would speed up transactions.
On April 30, Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing wing of retail giant Amazon, released its own BaaS platform dubbed Amazon Managed Blockchain.