BitShares, Lisk Hop on Azure Blockchain Bandwagon
Microsoft's blockchain-as-a-service ecosystem gains more supporters, including the financial services-centric BitShares platform.Microsoft's efforts to attract startups to its months-old, blockchain-as-a-service cloud platform appears to be paying off. Based on the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, blockchain is a distributed-database technology with transaction tracking and verification capabilities that are hardened against tampering. In his sixth update on the progress of Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service, Marley Gray, director of business development and strategy for Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise unit, announced that five new partners had joined the ecosystem. Among them is BitShares, an open-source, decentralized asset exchange software platform for the SmartCoin cryptocurrency. "A SmartCoin is [a] price-stable digital asset pegged to the value of various currencies, commodities, stocks and other financial instruments within a derivatives market," explained Gray. Pricing information is derived from world financial markets and then published to the exchange. In search of innovations that may power next-generation exchanges and banking services, Wall Street and financial technology (FinTech) firms have been keeping a close eye on the burgeoning blockchain market. A recent report from Deloitte identified blockchain as one of the disruptive forces to affect the banking industry over the next several years.
Deloitte predicts that by 2025, blockchain-based payment systems will rival the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network in terms of scale. The consulting company also expects digital currencies to become mainstream and direct payments to become more commonplace. (Another blockchain perk is that it can potentially supplant the clearing house model for many financial transactions, essentially eliminating the middleman and reducing fees.)