Skip to main content

Microsoft Azure Blockchain signs J.P. Morgan for Ethereum smart contract system

Microsoft is getting into Blockchain and J.P. Morgan is its first client


Microsoft is getting into the blockchain business. Don’t worry though, it’s not about to launch a Bitcoin competitor. But it is debuting an expansion of its Azure cloud platform to include the Azure Blockchain Service, a new foundation for business-developed blockchain platforms that can help improve trust across organizations. The first one to sign up to this new preview service is J.P. Morgan with Quorum, a smart contract platform built upon the Ethereum protocol.

Blockchain technology is most well known for being the backbone of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but over the years the technology has seen a variety of uses outside of that niche. Its ability to provide trust between organizations and individuals in the digital space has made it useful for voting machines, organizing medical records, and handling permissions in major companies. Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service is designed to expand the technology’s potential into a new sphere of cloud connected businesses.

Since blockchain can be a little hard to wrap your head around at times — especially when it comes to its specific uses beyond the abstract — Microsoft’s new service is entirely managed to help simplify the creation and management of blockchain services and networks. We’re told that Microsoft has made it so that setting up a new distributed ledger is as simple as a few clicks. There are also easy to understand management features which helps to add new members or set permissions for anyone who’s using the service.

The Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service also includes smart-contract functionality, which makes it possible for individuals and businesses to set specific conditions for completion of work, payments, and data access. Microsoft even released an extension for its Visual Studio code to make implementing them easier.

J.P. Morgan has already partnered with Microsoft for its Quorum blockchain, bringing it over to Microsoft’s managed platform. That service has customers as diverse as Starbucks and Louie Vuitton, and Microsoft itself even uses it as part of its Xbox Finance Team.

If you’re interested in trying out the Azure Blockchain Service, it’s now available in Preview. You can make a free Azure account here, and get $200 towards your first network. Microsoft also goes into more detail about it during the latest episode of its Block Talk Azure webshow.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
One of HP’s best student laptops is $230 off today
hp pavilion pro 14 review plus front angled

Parents and students who are searching for laptop deals with amazing value should take a look at HP's discount for the HP Pavilion 15.6-inch laptop. From its original price of $600, it's down to $370 for $230 in savings. It's not going to challenge the best laptops in terms of performance, but it's easily within the realm of the best budget laptops. You'll need to push through with your purchase as soon as possible though, because the laptop's stocks probably won't last long.

Why you should buy the HP Pavilion 15T-EG300 laptop
The HP Pavilion is a great laptop for students looking to get a head start on savings and studies over the summer. It’s up there with several of the best laptops for college, and it has a large, 15.6-inch Full HD display that’s great for both taking notes in class and watching movies on the weekend. Dual speakers by Bang & Olufsen chip in for the show as well. Because this is a larger-sized laptop, it can house a larger battery. In most cases you’ll get a full day of use with this laptop, and fast charging technology will get you to a 50% charge in just 45 minutes. HP is among our best laptop brands as well, so you know you’re getting a computer that can last.

Read more
This deal knocks $130 off Lenovo’s Surface-style Chromebook
The new Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 sitting on a desk.

If you’re in the market for one of the best tablets but would like to save some money along the way, Lenovo is offering a significant discount on the Chromebook Duet 5. This is a great tablet for students and professionals and it makes a lot of sense if you’ve had your eye on the Microsoft Surface Pro lineup of tablets but are shopping on a budget. While this tablet would regularly cost $499, right now Lenovo has it discounted to just $369. That’s a savings of $130, and free shipping is included. In many locations Lenovo will even let you pick it up at the nearest Best Buy.

Why you should buy the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is a 2-in-1 tablet that can compete in many ways with not only the best 2-in-1 tablets, but also the super popular Microsoft Surface Pro. On paper it lacks in specs when put next to high end tablets, but when it comes to actual user experience, the IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook has nearly as much to offer. Chromebooks are meant to be simple, after all, and with 8GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, it can get you through long work days in a word processor, creative jam sessions, or late nights buried in homework. It has a detachable keyboard and touch pad, a nice bit of design that gives the IdeaPad Duet 5 laptop ergonomics when you want it.

Read more
This Lenovo laptop with 128GB of RAM is $4,500 off right now
A Lenovo ThinkPad P16 with a graphics program being displayed on it.

If you want a laptop that will exceed the performance of the best desktop PCs and you're willing to shell out for such a machine, then you should turn your attention towards the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Intel Mobile Workstation. In one of the most special offers from the manufacturer, the device is $4,500 off, which brings its price down to $5,489 from its estimated market price of $9,989. If you never want to experience slowdowns and crashes ever again, this is the investment that you need to make, but you need to hurry because the 45% discount will not last forever.

Why you should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad P16
If there is anything to know about the ThinkPad P16, it is how high the raw stats are for a laptop. For example, in our laptop buying guide, we listed 16GB or more RAM as being good for intensive application. The ThinkPad P16? Oh, it has 128GB of RAM. Plus it has 4TB of SSD storage, a beautiful 3840 x 2400 resolution touchscreen, and runs on a top-of-the-line 12th Gen i9 processor. Absolutely wild stats for a laptop and something you should check out yourself. It's no wonder that ThinkPad laptops are considered amongst the best business laptops.

Read more