On 4 April, Microsoft officials announced a strategic partnership with the R3 banking consortium in order to develop, test and deploy new blockchain technologies.
The company made the announcement during the first day of its Envision 2016 business decision maker conference held in New Orleans. The conference is focused on how existing businesses can implement Microsoft technologies to transform to meet the needs of a digital world.
A blockchain is a shared ledger used to store the entire transaction history of financial as well as other kinds of records. Its technology is what allows the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to function.
Microsoft and many other companies are interested in using blockchain to implement a number of advances in business and IT including the next generation of copyright and IP, digital contract management, smart employment and work records and smart property ownership and exchange.
Last year, R3 was able to create a partnership to connect banks worldwide and provide its distributed ledger technologies. Currently the consortium has 42 financial institution partners that are interested in exploring how blockchains could be used as the infrastructure for a number of new services and technologies. R3 has built a peer-to-peer distributed ledger that its banking partners have put to use to create smart contract platforms.
Microsoft will be aiding R3 by supporting its blockchain labs and will use its technology and influence to promote the adoption of blockchain technology across the tech and financial sectors.