Microsoft’s Azure cloud service has unveiled the first “certified offering” for its Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. The certified software is STRATO, a developer sandbox for testing Ethereum blockchain applications built by Blockapps.
The offering includes an API for connecting applications to private, semi-private (or consortium) and public Ethereum blockchains. Combined with the Bloc web application software development kit, developers can apparently setup blockchain applications in minutes. STRATO also offers adjustable consensus formation algorithms and transaction verification rules such as instant, round robin signature pool, proof of work, and proof of stake.
In addition, Azure BaaS also revealed that it has added AlphaPoint and IOTA as partners.
AlphaPoint’s platform powers digital asset exchanges and provides institutions blockchain-enabled solutions to store, track, and trade digital assets. The company’s future offerings on the Azure Marketplace will permit users to test and build blockchain applications leveraging a .NET stack.
IOTA provides an innovative redesign of conventional blockchain architecture, described as a “Directed Acyclic Graph/Tangle based distributed ledger.” A Tangle is distinct from a conventional blockchain as it lacks rigid blocks and is a constant stream of settlements. IOTA developed this model to solve blockchain scalability issues becoming apparent in the development of Internet of Things systems. The IOTA core is apparently lightweight enough to even run on tiny micro-sensors, enabling setup of a decentralized, secure transaction settlement network for IoT clusters. For Azure customers, IOTA plans to deliver a payment channels swarm for IoT devices, oracling for smart contracts, and side-Tangles - similar to sidechains in regular blockchains.
Microsoft is aggressively recruiting blockchain tech partners for its Azure BaaS to service customers who want develop, test and deploy distributed ledger applications in cloud, hybrid and local environments. In addition to Alphapoint, BlockApps, and IOTA, the list of blockchain technology partners that have solutions on Azure include BitPay, Bitcoin Core, CoinPrism, ConsenSys, Emercoin, Eris Industries, Factom, LibraTax, Manifold Technology, Multichan (Coin Solutions), Netki, and Ripple.
Blockapps’ STRATO developer sandbox application was recently added to OpenShift, Red Hat’s container application platform.