Web: Microsoft partners with banks on Blockchain tech

April 2016 by: From The Web

Microsoft Inc. has pulled ahead of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, International Business Machines Corp., and Amazon.com Inc. in the race for supremacy in operating other companies’ blockchains.


Microsoft and R3, a consortium of 43 financial institutions, have formed a strategic partnership to accelerate the use of the blockchain technologies. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella announced the deal at the company’s Envision conference Monday.


Blockchains -- basically online ledgers for recording transactions -- first gained popularity with the digital currency bitcoin. But now financial institutions are experimenting with them as well to run their businesses more efficiently.


The first commercial deployments of the blockchain could go live in about a year, David Rutter, CEO of R3, said in an interview, adding that it’s “three to five years until significant commercial adoption.”

In preparation, providers of cloud-based services that can run blockchain software for other companies are already jockeying for an early lead. But Microsoft’s preferred vendor relationship with R3 could give it a leg up in winning business from banks.


“Microsoft continues to take a leadership position in integrating blockchain technology into its product roadmap,” said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. “The relationship with R3 provides Microsoft access to R3’s high-quality collection of the largest banks in the world, which is the most likely group to make early investments in implementing blockchain technology.”


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