Big tech is getting in on blockchain in a big way. Microsoft has launched a cloud-based blockchain development kit powered by Azure.
“This kit extends the capabilities of our blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench, which incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs into a reference architecture that can be used to rapidly build blockchain-based applications,” Microsoft blockchain engineering lead Marc Mercuri said.
The initial release will focus on three key themes: connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems, and deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks.
Among other things, Microsoft says the development kit will provide SMS and voice interfaces for tracking and supply chain solutions, integration with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and support for mobile clients like Android and iOS. Indeed, Microsoft calls the kit an “end-to-end” blockchain solution.
The Redmond giant pointed out that its new offering will be compatible with a number of different ledger technologies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin.
To get developers off the ground, Microsoft has also prepared a white paper on how to use the kit to deploy decentralized applications. The paper is available here.
Big Tech hopping on the blockchain bandwagon
Microsoft is hardly the only tech giant that’s made a foray into blockchain. IBM, Google, and Amazon recently launched similar development kits for blockchain businesses.
Previously, Microsoft has showcased various blockchain pilots, including one that aimed to curb spam calls in India and another one designed to help developers get paid (launched in collaboration with accounting firm EY).
The Redmond company is also working on a blockchain-powered system to manage identities.
It’ll be interesting to see what developers will think of its new blockchain development kit – and what projects they can build with it.