November 4, Microsoft launched Azure Tokens Blockchain — the blockchain-a platform for issuing corporate Ethereum tokens on a cloud platform ready templates: for example, loyalty programs, letters of credit, documents or tickets. The service allows you to collect tokens as a designer and produce their own digital assets in just a few days. Several companies have already launched the tokens based on the new platform. Others can apply to participate in closed testing. We tried to figure out how Azure Tokens and Blockchain which companies already use them.
Microsoft puts on the blockchain and tokenization
In 2014 tekhgigant Microsoft one of the first to believe in the blockchain and started with bitcoin. In 2016, the company used the blockchain in their cloud service Microsoft Azure. And now Microsoft is introducing the technology in most of its areas.
Microsoft has launched several blockchain services operating on the model of the Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) — «blockchain as a service» and allow users to implement blockchain-solutions in their businesses quickly and with minimal effort.
- In may 2018 — Azure Blockchain Workbench, ETH-the tools for creating blockchain applications. Is a set of tools that reduce the development time of application to several days.
- In November last year — the Blockchain Azure Development Kit that allows you to create SMS, voice and IoT interfaces, bots, system of identification of users, mobile clients and applications.
- In may 2019 — Azure Blockchain Service that helps companies integrate their blockchain solution in a single consortium. Blockchain-Microsoft services are JPMorgan, Hapoalim, Apttus, Nestle and others. Microsoft is also developing a joint blockchain projects with such companies as NASDAQ and Starbucks.
Now the company is testing a proprietary platform for the production of tokens — Azure Blockchain Tokens. In Microsoft believe that tokenization «enormous potential for simplifying and accelerating complex business processes — at the same time, they can make them safer». Tokenization is the pillar of the coming revolution applications running bloccano. Thanks to her, there will be a new business model in which «tokens will become available to use as cash or credit cards.»
Now the issue of private token — a laborious and expensive process. The new platform should make everything as simple as possible, and operating environment such blockchain-projects — seamless and convenient. According to Marley gray, chief architect of Microsoft, the company wants to create tokens in the cloud would be as simple as plugging the printer — buy, connect, work! Gray adds that the project was launched after numerous requests from businesses who needed to tokenservice own assets or liabilities.
Based on what Azure Blockchain Tokens
Azure Blockchain Tokens were presented at the annual conference of the company Microsoft Ignite 2019, along with other new tools and services for business. The platform is based on cloud infrastructure Corporation Azure. It allows you to develop and release apps and services, store data, and to lease network resources. Now the platform offers over 600 services, Azure Tokens and Blockchain — only one of them.
Azure Blockchain tokens are standards-based Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI) — a consortium of leaders of the blockchain-industry (IBM, Intel, JPMorgan,Hyperledger, R3, ConsenSys, EY, Digital Asset Holdings). TTI launched in April 2019 Microsoft together with a consortium of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), which fits the Ethereum blockchain for corporate use and develops uniform standards for projects on the basis of this blockchain. EEA was founded in February 2017. A long time news about him was not enough. In may 2018, the consortium provided a standardized architecture of Ethereum applications. And in October this year released the system to work as a team with tokens of encouragement, reputation and fines. The system was supported by Microsoft and Intel.
Azure Blockchain Tokens Token work on Taxonomy Framework (TTF) is a cloud — based software Toolbox for generating tokens. It stipulates the guidelines, standards, definitions, basic types and sets of behaviors tokens. This is a tested code based on the developments already used in the IBM, Digital Asset, Microsoft Azure, Blockchain and other members of TTI.
Using TTF developers can quickly and efficiently produce tokens without being distracted by the little things and focusing on what is unique for the project objectives. Roughly speaking, it works like this: chose a template, added modules to accomplish a particular task — test — run. TTF allows us not to reinvent the wheel each time. Developers only have to create an application in which they want to use tokens.
After the release, you can manage tokens using several different blockchains, including Ethereum, Quorum, Corda and Hyperledger Fabric. Microsoft strives to allow companies to produce unique, forgery-proof assets in the interconnected grid of the block chain corresponding to the same token standards. This will allow the user to make seamless transitions from one blockchain to another.
How the patterns of tokens
Working in the service is somewhat similar to the constructor. There are several elements that need to click in sequence:
- Base type token — interchangeable, irreplaceable, and two hybrid varieties. Here you need to choose whether the token is divisible or not.
- The behavior of token — determines the capabilities or limitations of the asset.
- Properties of token — Express that a token can do.
This allows you to create your own unique tokens or templates — templates.
In Azure there are four Blockchain Tokens template tokens that can be used unchanged, with minimal amendments for the project:
- Commodity token — fungible, they have a constant value, they can be passed on to others. For example, a barrel of oil or unit of energy.
- Qualified tokens — an asset that can make money, usually they are associated with a single entity and cannot be transferred. For example, a diploma or a Parking violation.
- Asset tokens have unique cost, which depends on their properties. Unlike commodity tokens, they are unique. For example, the Museum artifact or ownership.
- Tokens and tickets have a shelf life and burn over time. For example, a plane ticket or a concert.
While the Azure tokens issued in the trial version. Microsoft Azure does not assume liability for their use and do not recommend them for commercial and practical applications. Part of functions not supported or has a disability. The company warns that for the full release of the token may require the permission of the Commission on securities and stock exchanges (SEC) the USA. To test the tokens, it is necessary to apply — it will be reviewed in 2-4 weeks.
Templates will cover most blockchain-based solutions. The user can start with the template, and then personalize it. Azure Blockchain Tokens provides access to an open API for interoperability with tokens — the user can integrate the token into their applications and business processes. More information is available in the Azure documentation Blockchain Tokens.
Several companies are already testing the token-based TTF: Hyperledger, Santander, Intel, ConsenSys, GE Aviation, Digital Asset, ioBuilders, Microsoft, R3, and others. One of the earliest partners of Microsoft in the development of blockchain tokens Azure Mythical Games, allows developers to build blockchain-games to interact with virtual objects. Other early partners: the California company CEEK Virtual Reality, issuing the token to view the streaming content, and Adhara London, developed a system of online payments of Amobee Token standard.
Why do business tokenization
Studies show that the business interests of the blockchain. Costs of companies in the blockchain solution in 2018 amounted to $1.5 billion (at a valuation of $7 billion) in 2019 is expected to grow to $2.9 billion, and by 2022 to reach $12.4 billion.
Tokenization allows you to:
- To trade using tokens (this is useful if the business operates, such as oil or grain);
- To increase the liquidity of illiquid assets, with the ability to divide them into parts (for example, real estate or art);
- To monitor the supply chain;
- To trade without intermediaries and save on commissions.
- To increase the speed of transactions;
- Reduce paperwork;
- To provide a freer market;
- Increase engagement of consumers.
How Microsoft can make money on it
When tokens Azure Blockchain will be ready for mass use by big business, this will give Microsoft a huge market.
In contrast to the decentralized blockchains, Microsoft solutions will be checked by animal health services and supported by cloud computing companies. In fact, this will be a centralized database with the intermediary in the form of Microsoft.
Now technogiant charges $0.075 per hour for the blockchain site and $0.05 per Gigabyte in the cloud. Revenue from Microsoft cloud computing in 2018 amounted to $32.2 billion — almost a third of the total revenue of the company. Although Microsoft did not report how much of this brought transactions in the blockchain, most likely, while we are talking about a relatively small amount.
Managing Director of Microsoft, Matthew Koerner told Forbes that the company is much more interesting to integrate in the cloud as much data as possible. Their presence stimulates the development of other applications and solutions for data processing, which the company will also be able to monetize. The ultimate goal is to collect customer data in the cloud first, and then transfer the blockchain. The company believes that is part of the evolution of Big Data.
Blockchain initiative Microsoft show that the Big Tech aims to gain a foothold in Cryptoprotected. This involves a huge computational power of the Azure platform. The Seattle giant and other members of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance could do something that has not happened the rest is to unite the key players under one platform. Perhaps it is the time of collaboration, which will lead to more widespread adoption of blockchain.
Tokens that are running on Azure Blockchain Tokens are the most technically similar, they are easy to integrate into a single network. If the project becomes massive, it will accelerate the tokenization of companies from different spheres of business worldwide.