Microsoft and AMIS launch Asia’s first blockchain consortium
Microsoft has teamed with AMIS and the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan (ITRI) to form Asia’s “first” consortium blockchain network on Azure.
They will use AMIS’s blockchain solutions with Azure as the cloud platform – “the only platform with BaaS” (Banking-as-a-Service). Azure will provide public, private and hybrid cloud models; and business and technical support from a local team based in Taiwan.
Danny Ting, national tech officer, Microsoft Taiwan, says “companies incur high costs when they perform any cross-organisation transactions and this can be solved using blockchain technology”.
The pilot blockchain project is developed using ITRI’s technology and Azure, which meets a “broad set” of international and industry-specific compliance standards. AMIS chose Ethereum, to develop permissioned blockchain, an infrastructure “specific to the needs” of Taiwan’s financial market.
ITRI provided its technology to create an internal application program interface (API), while Azure provided cloud computing to ensure “security and efficiency” for the blockchain infrastructure. Microsoft says it played a role in ensuring that the infrastructure met the specific requirements of financial institutions in Taiwan.
Microsoft says it is also in “collaboration” with banks such as Fubon Financial, Cathay Financial Holdings, MegaBank, KGI, Taishin, CTBC Bank to further develop blockchain opportunities in the Taiwan financial market.
In April, Microsoft became a strategic partner of R3’s Consortium, and is the “preferred” cloud services provider for its R3 Lab and Research Center, serving more than 40 member banks.
However, there has been a recent exodus from R3, with US Bancorp, Macquarie and JP Morgan all understood to be in the “leave” camp as they have opted out of its upcoming fundraising effort. In addition, Goldman Sachs, Santander, Morgan Stanley and National Australia Bank – all decided to abandon R3 and pursue their own blockchain interests.