Microsoft has launched a cloud-based ledger system for would-be bitcoin traders. The Azure service provider aims to ease traditional bankers and financial service companies into a new increasingly legitimised market as it gains currency in the world’s finance centres.
The system uses blockchain technology provided by New York based financial technology start up ConsensYs. It will give financial institutions the means to create affordable testing and proof of concept models as they examine the feasibility of bitcoin trading.
Blockchain technology’s ability to secure and validate any exchange of data will help convince compliance constrained finance institutes that this form of trading is no more dangerous than any other high speed automated trading environment, according to Microsoft. In a bitcoin system the ConsenYs blockchain will be used as a large decentralized ledger which keeps track of every bitcoin transaction.
Cloud technology could aggregate sufficient processing power to cater for all fluctuations demand for capacity in online trading. In turn this means that the IT service provider, whether internal or external, can guarantee that every transaction is verified and shared across a global computer network. The omnipresence of the blockchain reporting system makes it impossible for outside interference to go unmonitored.
The Microsoft blockchain service, launched on November 10th, also uses Ethereum’s programmable blockchain technology which will be delivered to existing banks and insurance clients already using Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. According to Microsoft four global financial institutions have already subscribed to the service.
Until now blockchain has been the ‘major pain point’ in bitcoin trading, according to Marley Gray, Microsoft’s director of tech strategy for financial services. Gray told Reuters that the cloud technology had made the technology affordable and easy enough to adopt. According to Gray it now only takes 20 minutes and no previous experience to spin up a private blockchain. Microsoft said it has simplified the system with templates it created, used in combination with its cloud-based flexible computing model.
The new testing systems made possible by ConsensYs create a ‘fail fast, fail cheap’ model that allows finance companies to explore the full range of possibilities of this new type of trading, said Gray.