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Category Archive: microsoft

Microsoft Smart Contracts: a working group to improve security

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Today the tech giant announced it is working on a project to improve Microsoft smart contracts security.
Called Kinakuta, this working group aims at making it easier for companies to use and develop smart contracts based on the blockchain. 
Even if more and more businesses are increasingly expressing interest in blockchain based smart contracts, concerns about this kind of use case grew after the DAO collapse
Since then, Microsoft decided to improve smart contracts security to avoid further issues in the future. 
Marley Gray, Microsoft’s director of business development and strategy, in fact, believes that their project could reduce future risks. 
“We feel there’s a huge opportunity here to involve the community. Kinakuta is the community building around Microsoft best practices and elsewhere, to collect best practices and tools and involve developers in creating these best practices.”
Gray explained that there are 35 developers and companies that the company decided to call for the Microsoft Smart Contracts group. These include the Ethereum Foundation, R3CEV and BlockApps.

Vitalik Buterin on Microsoft Smart Contracts

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Creator, commented that he doesn’t believe that this new project could necessarily stop future collapses like DAO.
“There will be further bugs and we will learn further lessons,” he explained in a blog post.

Microsoft Smart Contracts: a whitepaper with Harvard

Previously, Microsoft released a research realized with Harvard that explained how ethereum smart contracts will work.
This whitepaper proposes a method called “formal verification”, or the way to prove the correctness of a smart contract; also it proposes two tools to help verify smart contracts: Solidity and EVM.

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Microsoft BaaS to help Blockchain developers

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Microsoft BaaS is available for all users of the Azure testing environment. Microsoft, in fact, started to test the blockchain back in 2014 and now it is developing its Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS).  
Created to allow developers to easily create environments thanks to Azure, DevTest Labs wants to allow companies to limit expenses made for developing their own applications.
Also, the project provides editable templates, so developers don’t have to design new environments; BaaS will also provide artifacts with the objective of telling apps what actions to take after developed. 
The project supports more than 20 blockchains, including MultiChain, Eris, Storj and Augur; and it aims at improving developers work for creating and testing distributed ledger with less money. 
Microsoft’s Marley Gray commented:
“With the Azure DevTest Labs integration, Microsoft has made it even easier for developers to get blockchain lab environments up-and-running.”
Also, by using the Azure DevTest Labs, developers can doing experiments with private, permissioned, public or consortium blockchains, as Microsoft wants to include every single blockchain to its platform.

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Microsoft to launch an identity platform through the blockchain

The well-known tech giant Microsoft recently started a partnership with Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys to create an open-source platform to integrate both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.
In today’s blog post published by Microsoft blockchain business strategist Yorke Rhodes III, in fact, he explained that the company will create an open source framework on Azure, where developers can build their own identity applications.

“Microsoft is collaborating with partners Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys, and developers across the globe on an open source, self-sovereign, blockchain-based identity system that allows people, products, apps, and services to interoperate across blockchains, cloud providers, and organizations. Our goal in contributing to this initiative is to start a conversation on blockchain-based identity that could improve apps, services, and more importantly, the lives of real people worldwide by enabling self-owned or self-sovereign identity”.


The possibility to connect this platform to both the Ethereum and the Bitcoin blockchain will take place thanks to Blockstack and uPort systems. 
This partnership started during the ID2020 Summit held in New York a few weeks ago. 
According to Rhodes, a first version of this framework will be launched within the end of the summer on the Azure platform. 


Identity Problem in the Digital World 

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According to the post published by Rhodes, 1.5 billion people don’t have a proper identification
And this makes it difficult for them to have a bank account or access to education and more services.
  • 1.5B people are without proper identification, that’s one-fifth of the world’s population.
  • One in three children under the age of five does not officially exist because their birth has not been recorded.
  • Cumulatively, 230M children under the age of five have no birth certificate; this number is growing.
  • 50M children are born without legal identity, the size of the UK, each year.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Excel will support Bitcoin Format

The Bitcoin popularity is increasing every day and recently Microsoft Company announced that the company is accepting this cryptocurrency on its online store.
And now it’s the time of Excel, one of the most popular and used spreedsheets, that will support the Bitcoin format.
The Microsoft Office suite, in fact, will include the support for the currency format of Bitcoin within Excel.
This statement was revealed in the Office 365 roadmap that includes all the updates that Microsoft is considering for the Office 365 suite, as well as the new features that will be in the 2016 version of the Office package.
Actually the project is still in a development phase, as you can read below.

 

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Bitcoin Currency Format Support
So, soon you will be able to use Excel to track, calculate and analyze Bitcoin data using native options. This feature will be probably added to Excel 2016, Excel Online, Excel Mobile for Windows and Android. 
Also, it may be possible that the feature will include a native recognition of bitcoin with BTC, introduce the eighth decimal and maybe the Bitcoin logo that will be part of the Unicode Standard, as Unicode Consortium accepted the Bitcoin symbol in November 2015.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Microsoft adds 5 blockchain partners to Azure and it still accepts Bitcoin

Last month we talked about the decision of Microsoft Corporation to start testing the blockchain technology and to create its own blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) product. 
In fact, Microsoft opened its Azure cloud computing platform, adding a growing number of partners to its BaaS solution including ConsenSys, Emercoin and MultiChain.
And now Microsoft has announced the addition of five new blockchain partners to its Azure platform, including prediction market Augur and Ethereum network Slock.
Some other partners previously announced include Lisk, BitShares, Syscoin, BitPay,Eris Industries and Factom
microsoft bitcoin

Microsoft still accepts Bitcoin payments

According to CNBC, Microsoft continues to accept Bitcoin among its allowed methods of payment.
On Monday they accidentally announced that it would no longer accept bitcoin, but the company belies this announcement. 
In fact, Microsoft Corportation still accepts Bitcoin for purchasing contents in the Windows and Xbox stores. 

“We apologize for inaccurate information that was inadvertently posted to a Microsoft site, which is currently being corrected,” told a company spokesman to CNBC.


Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Ethereum is bigger than ever

During the past months cryptocurrency Ethereum was growing fast, increasing its value and consequently its own popularity.
Today the Ethereum price is about $9 (0.022 BTC) and it undergone very few changes with an almost always upward price.
Just in the last day Ethereum raised its market capitalization by 26%, reaching almost $730 million, representing more than 10% of Bitcoin’s market cap.
This behaviour is truly important as Ethereum is proving to be much louder than the other altcoins, reaching the market capitalization of all the other altcoinsll together, excluding bitcoin.

Microsoft Corporation certified Ethereum

Some days ago a startup who provides Ethereum softwares, BlockApps became the first certified company on Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS).
Director of Blockchain strategy at Microsoft Corporation, Marley Gray, commented:
“The simple, rapid and flexible one-click deploy of Ethereum blockchain architecture launched on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace enables enterprises and developers to quickly deploy a certified blockchain environment on Azure.”

But, what is Ethereum?

Created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform who provides decentralized services.
  At the moment Ethereum is in the so-called Homestead phase, the second of the six phases of its rollout that they company planned. The other phases will be “Metropolis (Mist release), Serenity (proof of stake Casper plus abstraction, aka Ethereum 1.5), Ethereum 2.0 and Ethereum 3.0 that will focus on scalability”, commented Buterin during a recent interview conducted by Bitcoin.com.
Thanks to Homestead, said Buterin, “the risk of using the Ethereum platform is now substantially reduced”.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Microsoft Opens to Bitcoin

Since the end of 2014 Microsoft Corporation has started to test the blockchain technology.

In fact, Microsoft wants to create its own blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) product and since they have opened their Azure cloud computing platform, the American company has added a growing number of partners to its BaaS solution including ConsenSys, Emercoin and MultiChain.
With Azure and BaaS people will be able to use different technologies (from smart contracts to blockchain-based tax reporting services) in a safer and easier way than in the past.
We can’t wait to see the finished product and Marley Gray, Microsoft‘s director of technology strategy, promises that this “certified blockchain marketplace” will be ready within this spring.
The Importance of the Blockchain
Although blockchain is revolutioning the whole payments system, the real revolution are the bitcoins behind it.
The Blockchain is a secure ledger that records and stores every transaction in the network. Thanks to that there is no need for “trusted” third parties such as banks and this is why the Blockchain is a great game changer.
Its implications extend not only to bitcoin transactions, but it can be useful in various fields: from real estate to copyrights, from music to cinema, etc. In fact nowadays there is an increasing number of new startups that are working on innovative projects based on the blockchain with multipurpose uses and aims.
And one thing is certain: if anything was not invented yet, it is just temporary, because the blockchain allows all kinds of experimentation.

About the author: Amelia Tomasicchio is a writer and a journalist of Bitcoin-related news and articles. She started writing about Bitcoin in 2014 and she graduated in Rome with an essay about movie industry related to Bitcoin.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio