Microsoft cans Azure Blockchain, pushes users to Ethereum’s ConsenSys

A plug being pulled from a structure of three cubes representing Microsoft Azure Blockchain

Software giant Microsoft has announced it’s pulling the plug on Azure Blockchain in September, six years after its launch.

In a document published last week, Microsoft said its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) product will go offline on September 10, giving customers four months to find a replacement.

Microsoft has so far given no insight as to why but it was quick to suggest an alternative: Quorum, run by Ethereum-backer ConsenSys.

The Joe Lubin-led blockchain studio bought Quorum from JP Morgan last August.

Microsoft urged Azure users to migrate to ConsenSys before September.

Quorum uses the same GoQuorum Ledger technology as Azure, which no doubt makes migration easier for users.

What exactly is Azure Blockchain?

Microsoft deployed Azure Blockchain in 2015 to cater to those looking to adopt distributed ledger tech without maintaining nodes directly.

Similar to Amazon Managed Blockchain, companies pay Microsoft to keep a private blockchain network — tailored to their needs — running smooth.

  • Most enterprise blockchains are private (permissioned), unlike Bitcoin which is public (permissionless).
  • Private blockchains are often controlled by a small group, like a company.
  • Public blockchains like Bitcoin are controlled by the network at large.
Enterprise blockchains are almost always permissioned. Bitcoin is permissionless (public).

[Read more: JPMorgan tests blockchain payments from space, but it’s no Blockstream]

Microsoft didn’t explain why it’s canning the service. The company however launched Azure in the early formative years of blockchain hype.

It’s likely real-world uptake has been slower than Microsoft expected.

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