Bank backed Blockchain fintech development consortium R3 (R3CEV LLC) has signed a new strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. to develop, test and deploy Blockchain technologies on Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service cloud.
If you’re not familiar with R3, the consortium was founded in 2015 to design and deliver advanced distributed/shared ledger technologies to global financial markets and is backed by some of the biggest names in global banking, including Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, State Street, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.
Under the non-exclusive deal, Microsoft will provide R3 to access to 45 cloud-based tools on its Azure platform, including those from ConsenSys, Ripple, Eris Industries, Factom, BitPay, and similar startups who are working with the Blockchain and Blockchain derivatives.
“Coupled with dedicated services and technical support for R3’s blockchain labs, this partnership creates a powerful, flexible ecosystem for member banks to develop and ultimately deploy real-world Blockchain solutions,” Microsoft Executive Vice President of Business Development Peggy Johnson said in a statement. “R3’s members will also benefit from Microsoft’s enterprise-grade cloud security and privacy protections, in addition to the largest cloud compliance and certification portfolio in the industry, an absolute necessity for the financial services industry.”
The deal is a coup for Microsoft and wasn’t without competition, with R3 stating that they had trialed cloud services from Amazon.com, Inc. (AWS) and Google, Inc. (Google Cloud) before making the decision.
Since Microsoft launched its Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service offering it has continued to attract big names, including Ethereum last November, BitPay in January, and others as its dedicated focus to supporting Blockchain technology continues to make it stand out against its major cloud competitors.
“The Azure platform and intelligent cloud services bring advanced capabilities to this budding financial ecosystem, and the commitment by Microsoft will accelerate the adoption of distributed ledger technology around the globe and take our R3 Lab and Research Center offering to a new level of capability” R3 Chief Executive Officer David Rutter added, and it’s as good as an endorsement as you can get.
While Blockchain itself has come of age we’re still in the early years of the financial revolution the technology promises to deliver, and that revolution may well be powered by Microsoft if it continues to play all of its cards right.