Microsoft: Blockchain App Developer Tools Coming on Azure – Fortune.com

Microsoft is taking another step to make blockchain—the distributed ledger system that underlies transactions made with cryptocurrency—more usable by everyday business customers.

Blockchain is a type of technology enabling secure transactions using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin without a third-party intermediary controlling the action. As this requires distributed computing resources, public clouds like Microsoft (MSFT, +0.80%) Azure, which harness the power of data centers around the world, enable the use of such technology.

According to a blog post by Marley Gray, principal program manager for Microsoft Azure’s blockchain engineering group, the company has already made the basic cloud plumbing available for blockchain. Now, it’s time to make it easier for customers to build applications on top of that plumbing.

More at: Microsoft: Blockchain App Developer Tools Coming on Azure –

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Hybrid cloud and blockchain solutions will be the future for data backup

Migrating data backup to hybrid cloud and blockchain solutions is an evolutionary no-brainer

Civilisation is built on the ability to manipulate complex data – and on the ability to store that data securely, yet in a retrievable and usable form.

The earliest civilisations used clay tablets, tally sticks, knotted string and scrolls to keep their data safe; with the dawn of the Machine Age, the evolution of storage systems picked up pace, and society rattled through punch cards, cogs, magnetic media, Hard Disc Drives, floppy discs, optical storage systems like CD-ROMs, Laserdisc and DVDs, flash drives and the now almost ubiquitous USB sticks.

The logical next step, given improvements in telecoms and the development of WiFi, broadband, 3G, 4G and 5G services, is to migrate to hybrid cloud data storage, where vital data is kept safe by being distributed across multiple remote locations in off-site servers and can be accessed via Cloud-based platforms as and when necessary.

More at: Hybrid cloud and blockchain solutions will be the future for data backup

Blockchain 101: How This Next Big Service Will Change The Future – Forbes CMO Network

If you thought the cloud wars were already tense, you were right. But the rise of blockchain is pushing that war to a whole new height as giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM rush to bring Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) to the cloud environment. Will BaaS become the key differentiator in the competition—or will a whole new technology race in to disrupt the digital landscape? Below, I offer some insights.

What Is Blockchain?

In case you’ve been too overwhelmed with cloud, fog computing, and other tech advancements tearing through your industry, here’s a quick overview: Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin, a type of encrypted digital currency. But unlike Bitcoin, Blockchain is not a strictly financial tool. Although it is designed as a general ledger, in its simplest sense, it’s a way to move and store blocks of cryptographically validated data that users can’t corrupt. In other words, it creates a transparent paper trail that anyone can access, but no one can alter. That makes Blockchain far more than a financial tool—it makes it the latest way of sharing, validating, or otherwise endorsing almost any kind of value point, be it “money, titles, deeds, music, art, scientific discoveries, intellectual property, and even votes.”

Why Add Blockchain To The Cloud?

Setting up your own Blockchain is not easy. It requires heavy infrastructure and development capabilities that most businesses aren’t savvy enough to manage. Enter BaaS. As more companies discover the power of Blockchain and what it can do for their businesses, there will be even greater demand for making this technology more easily accessible. According to Harvard Business Review, Blockchain is the next great disruptor, even more likely to change the next decade of business than big data or artificial intelligence (AI). Says the writer, just as the internet was the first native digital medium for information, Blockchain is the first native digital medium for value. Some 65 percent of banks are expected to implement a Blockchain solution in the next few years—and that’s just on the finance side. The technology is set to see a massive explosion throughout the business landscape.

Source: Blockchain 101: How This Next Big Service Will Change The Future – Forbes CMO Network