Microsoft has taken a huge step towards bringing blockchain to the masses by announcing an upgrade to its cloud-based Azure platform that will allow blockchain operators to create and manage tokenization in the cloud. Azure Blockchain Tokens adds the ability to tokenize, manage, and share digital assets on multiple blockchain platforms, including Ethereum.
Microsoft Keen on Keeping Top Spot
Microsoft announced the platform at their Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, with Marley Gray, principal architect at the company, summing up the scope of the project and its benefits:
We are creating a platform in the cloud where any token within the TTI framework can snap into place. So you can build applications where you want to use tokens with, for example, Dynamics, SAP, applications in the [Microsoft] Office suite or some other business automation process.
The platform allows users to create their own tokens using common templates or Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI) standards and open Microsoft APIs. Microsoft may not grab as many headlines in the crypto press for their work within the blockchain space compare to some big-name rivals like IBM, but they are nevertheless a big player in the blockchain world. In November last year they beat IBM to the crown of best Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider by researcher ABI, having got into the space in 2015. The Azure cloud platform has been the pipeline for their blockchain work, with a number of products already being used by a number of organizations.
Big Players Likely to Dominate
Microsoft is just one of a whole host of blue chip companies vying for a slice of the burgeoning BaaS market. IBM is of course a huge competitor, while Amazon is in the process of growing their Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain, both of which use Hyperledger Fabric technology. Then there are any number of smaller companies vying for a shot at the market, but very few have the clout to compete with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or IBM Blockchain.