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Microsoft & IBM Weigh in on the Battle Between Private and Public Blockchains

As business giants and governments are moving to explore Blockchain, Microsoft is to build a “Certified Blockchain Marketplace”.

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Microsoft & IBM Weigh in on the Battle Between Private and Public Blockchains

As business giants and governments are moving to explore Blockchain, the distributed ledger system that is behind Bitcoin, Microsoft is to build a “Certified Blockchain Marketplace”.

Microsoft Azure platform

Bitcoin’s value had earlier seen a $20 surge when Microsoft had announced plans to integrate Bitcoin into its Windows and Xbox digital payments system, though the initiative failed to garner widespread support.

However, Microsoft is now moving forward and experimenting with the technology behind Bitcoin, Blockchain - the distributed ledger system on which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are built.

Blockchain technology has sparked a lot of interest among the researchers and Fortune 500 companies recently. Microsoft is also trying to utilize the revolutionary technology to its advantage by building what it is terming a “certified blockchain marketplace” on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that is used for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of datacenters.

Microsoft had already launched its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) on its Azure platform in November, 2015, but the new initiative will have a “certified blockchain marketplace” and the participants will have to undergo a more rigorous testing than the existing BaaS.

A number of companies are investigating the possible uses of Blockchain in finance and trade, but Microsoft says it is not going to compete with the other companies, and will try to be the platform company it has always been.

Microsoft & IBM logos

IBM Blockchain conference

As per reports, the CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty will announce the company’s plans for developing Blockchain technology at a conference on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016.

IBM has been working on its own version of the blockchain technology and plans to test it this year.

Blockchain— the technology behind Bitcoin— is mostly associated with cryptocurrencies but now it is making its way into other sectors as well, especially finance and trade.

IBM has contributed code to the Hyperledger project of the Linux Foundation. Hyperledger project seeks to advance blockchain technology by identifying and addressing important features and gaps in technology. Accenture, Intel, JP Morgan, Cisco, and Hitachi and some other prominent companies that are part of the Hyperledger project among many other companies working to advance blockchain technology.

IBM has also stated that two of its high-profile customers, London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Japan Exchange Group (JEG) are already exploring ways of using blockchain technology.

IBM will also establish “IBM Garages” in prominent cities globally such as, New York, London, Singapore, and Tokyo, where customers get to experiment with the company’s blockchain software.

Will Bitcoin Suffer?

As per Michael Terpin, the Chairman of BitAngels, believe the presence of big name players is a double-edged sword for bitcoin. While it certainly brings credibility to the digital asset sector, most of the current crop of innovation in the blockchain area is deliberately independent of Bitcoin.

He further added:

“I believe the new business battle on the blockchain front will be between private blockchains (centrally controlled) vs. ones that at least have a tie-in to cryptocurrencies.  This will be the central issue of 2016 - and IBM, Microsoft etc see this as a huge opportunity to put their own fingerprint on it as the "stack" people trust.”

Fran Strajnar, Co-Founder & CEO, Bravenewcoin.com, also agreed that it will be beneficial for Bitcoin:

“Enterprises, businesses working with either bitcoin or other blockchains, always results in support for bitcoin. If they work with bitcoin - great, more exposure! If they work with another blockchain - that is still a validation towards bitcoin's technology and positive towards bitcoin.”

Dominik Zynis, founder of a stealth company utilizing blockchain technology said:

“Blue chip technology companies adding blockchain technology into their portfolio of offerings can only serve as validation of Bitcoin. The certification process definitely brings value to CIOs and IT organizations wanting to deploy best in class open source software coupled with the support and professional services that companies like IBM and MSFT have developed.”

When asked whether the value of Bitcoin will be affected by the investment of Fortune 500 companies in Blockchain technology, Peter Trcek, the CEO of Bitnik said:

“Price of Bitcoin no longer reacts so much to news as it used to. Lately it's become very fashionable to try and separate blockchain from bitcoin and most big player news now refers to blockchain as the technology. This means that bitcoin price will not surge so fast due to such news.”

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