Blockchain Gets Boost from Microsoft and Bank of America
Blockchain, the decentralized transaction-verification system that underpins bitcoin, received a boost Sept. 27, with Microsoft and Bank of America Merrill Lynch saying they will team up to further develop the technology.
“The two companies will build and test technology, create frameworks, and establish best practices for blockchain-powered exchanges between businesses and their customers and banks,” the firms said in a statement. “Microsoft Treasury experts will serve as advisors and initial test clients, establishing the first Microsoft Azure-powered blockchain transaction between a major corporate treasury and a financial institution.”
Microsoft Azure Blockchain as a Service launched in November 2015. More than 80 percent of the world’s largest banks are Azure customers, Microsoft said.
“By working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch on cloud-based blockchain technology, we aim to increase efficiency and reduce risk in our own treasury operations,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Businesses across the globe—including Microsoft — are undergoing digital transformation to grow, compete and be more agile, and we see significant potential for blockchain to drive this transformation.”
Other big institutions are considering blockchain for their own uses. The U.S. Postal Service, for instance, is exploring the use of blockchain technology to improve current services, provide new services and improve operations.