Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) has been opened up to another 3 technologies: Eris Industries, CoinPrism and Factom.
The service was inaugurated with Ethereum technology following a partnership with a New York-based startup, ConsensYs. Several institutions reportedly signed up. Recently, Ripple was added and the Ethereum tools were expanded.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud-based business service, supporting multiple programming languages and providing for the creation of custom applications on Microsoft’s infrastructure.
The goal of BaaS is to allow Azure clients to easily experiment with new applications such as smart contracts, without them having to build the infrastructure from scratch or requiring an in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrency.
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Eris Industries builds permissionable blockchains. Among other capabilities, Azure clients would be able to upload their permissioning capabilities for a given blockchain network.
Similarly, CoinPrism recently released its OpenChain software, which targets institutions with a suite of tools to manage permissioned blockchains in a regulated marketplace. It aims to use Azure’s platform to “achieve high availability making it possible to scale up as needed to achieve thousands of transactions per second” in Q1 2016.
Factom is looking to help businesses and governments leverage the blockchain as a new way of recordkeeping for various applications such as medical records, property titles, legal documents and financial systems. In May, it announced a project with the Honduran government to restore integrity to its land title system.
One of its Q1 2016 projects would be the recording of bitcoin price data from various exchanges on the Factom blockchain.
On Azure’s blog, Microsoft’s director of tech strategy for financial services, Marley Gray, says that the response to the Azure BaaS offering “has been compelling.” As such, the service has “formed a line onboarding new partners and customers into the staging area awaiting the official launch of the category in the Azure Marketplace.”