Microsoft has big news in the blockchain. They’ve unveiled a new platform for minting enterprise-ready tokens. Marley Gray the principal architect at Microsoft said, “Just like printers were once a pain to set up with a mishmash of printer types and their respective device-specific drivers, enterprise-oriented crypto tokens currently suffer from the same pitfalls.” Using the same analogy, Gray added that printers are now plug and play, and Microsoft has launched Azure to accomplish the same thing for minting tokens.
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The platform allows businesses to choose from a growing set of token-building templates that conform to the Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI) – a standards push and enterprise consortium spearheaded by Gray. So far there have been a number of TTI-compliant tokens built for uses like loyalty rewards, as incentivized rewards for software teams who meet goals, and traditional financial instruments like letters of credit in trade finance. TTI has already moved the goal posts further for other competing blockchain enterprises because it literally places all of them under one roof with their technology.
On Microsoft’s platform any token within the TTI framework can snap into place to build applications where you want to use tokens. Not limited to just Microsoft cloud or Azure blockchain programs, this framework can work with IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric FabToken, or Santander’s BOND token, or REWARD token from Intel and ConsenSys, just to name a few.
A spokeswoman for the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) basically stated that a tech team can enter and say, “I want this token” and they’re in business. While not yet in commercial production, the implications of this breakthrough technology is huge in the crypto and blockchain space. All the specs are available for download.
Since the benefits of using a shared, distributed ledger of transactions are relative to the size of the network, Microsoft designed Azure Blockchain Tokens to comply with a new taxonomy framework. In layman’s terms, this means that while the distributed ledgers that power the future interconnected network of tokens will be different, the genetic makeup of the tokens will be similar enough to be exchanged.
As companies like JPMorgan have already minted similar tokens and Facebook is working with a group of companies as diverse as Uber, Spotify and Vodafone, Microsoft’s work, using the same standard as the other participating blockchain developers, could pave the way for a veritable explosion of similar enterprise-grade tokens that work together as easily as if they were a single company’s accounting system.
Gray, who is also the chair of the TTI, was keen to point out that the Azure Blockchain Tokens are not just “a Microsoft thing.” Integration with IBM, R3, AWS, and Digital Asset is possible. He further stated that there should be “portability” of these token types across clouds and networks, depending on whatever infrastructure people need and from our standpoint, it looks like cryptocurrency has come out of the basement to play with the big boys now.
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