Microsoft teams up with JP Morgan to support blockchain project

Two of the world's biggest companies, Microsoft and JP Morgan, have announced a joint partnership to integrate their blockchain platforms. Microsoft is making JP Morgan's 4-year-old giant blockchain platform, Quorum, the first distributed ledger available in its Azure Blockchain service. Microsoft will also offer "engineering, consulting and go-to-market support for the platform" as part of the deal.

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Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft's cloud services division, said in a blog that JP Morgan's Quorum has been a "natural choice [because] it’s built on the popular Ethereum protocol." He added it would offer Microsoft's enterprise customers "confidential transactions," while "Quorum customers like Starbucks, Louis Vuitton" would benefit from the Azure service to focus on building blockchain applications at low cost.

Russinovich added that the coming months would see Azure expand its offering; "including digital token management, improved application integration, and support for R3’s Corda Enterprise." Microsoft has been comparatively private about its blockchain plans, making the announcement a rare public endorsement of the tech.