- REUTERS/Baz Ratner
- Microsoft said it has formed a blockchain partnership with JPMorgan Chase.
- Microsoft Azure will make a JPMorgan platform available on its blockchain service.
- The partnership will make it easier for JPMorgan customers to create new blockchain applications.
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Microsoft is teaming up with JPMorgan Chase to help boost the financial-services giant’s blockchain platform, the companies said on Thursday.
Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, Azure, will make JPMorgan’s platform, called Quorum, available on the software maker’s blockchain service.
Quorum will be the first ledger available on the Azure blockchain platform, Mark Russinovich, the chief technology officer of Microsoft’s cloud-services division, said in a blog post.
The partnership will make it easier for JPMorgan customers, such as Starbucks and Louis Vuitton, to develop more applications for its blockchain network. JPMorgan’s Quorum is a “natural choice” for the Microsoft platform, Russinovich wrote.
“It integrates with a rich set of open-source tools while also supporting confidential transactions – something our enterprise customers require,” he said.
Blockchain, which is best known as the system for tracking cryptocurrencies, is a fast-growing technology that allows users to create and share transaction records, or ledgers, across different parties.
The transaction data is encrypted and supposedly cannot be easily modified or tampered with, and it is updated constantly in all of the participant’s systems, making blockchain a secure way of conducting business.
“We think it’s going to be the profound way that businesses partner and integrate their operations with partners around the world,” Scott Guthrie, an executive vice president at Microsoft, told reporters at a media event on Thursday.
The partnership highlights the emergence of an “industry cloud” in the financial-services industry where fintech, or financial technology, also has become an important trend, IDC President Crawford Del Prete told Business Insider.
“JPMorgan will use their strength in understanding different fintech use cases, and therefore attract developers to address these problems, as they are known by so many of these developers,” he said.
“Blockchain will be critical in reducing friction in markets and/or transactions,” he added. “Obviously financial services has many of these kinds of transactions where a distributed ledger technology can be used to, for example, reduce the amount of time it takes to settle a specific transaction between financial institutions.”
Additional reporting by Senior Tech Editor Matt Weinberger.