Founded in mid-2014, the non-profit lobbying group has spent the time since pushing for fair regulation and oversight in Washington, DC for companies working on bitcoin or blockchain applications. The group is led by Perianne Boring, a former Forbes columnist and Capitol Hill staffer. More recently, the Chamber was one of the founding organizations behind the Blockchain Alliance, a public-private forum aimed at promoting cooperation between industry stakeholders and government agencies.
By building Ethereum’s Solidity programming language for writing smart contracts directly into Mircosoft’s Visual Studio platform, developers will be able to build, test and deploy decentralized applications, or dapps, within an integrated environment they already know how to use.But don’t think this is a money play for either ConsenSys, or Microsoft, at least not yet.
BlockApps, a startup providing Ethereum blockchain software for enterprises, has become the first certified offering on Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) marketplace. With its latest post, Microsoft also announced that asset exchange provider AlphaPoint and Internet-of-Things micropayments startup IOTA have joined its Azure BaaS platform.
In late December, several big-name companies from across both the tech and financial industries—including IBM, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and the London Stock Exchange—unveiled a new open source software project based on the blockchain, the global online ledger that underpins the bitcoin digital currency.
At the end of 2014, Microsoft announced plans to integrate the cryptocurrency bitcoin — at the time experiencing an unprecedented surge in value — into its Windows and Xbox payments system. The news caused the price of bitcoin to surge, but the initiative never really gained widespread support. Microsoft is now looking beyond bitcoin, however, and trying to create a marketplace for the blockchain, the distributed ledger technology on which bitcoin is built.
While bitcoin may have grabbed the headlines with its wildly fluctuating value and its mysterious creator, known only as Satoshi Nakamoto, it is blockchain that is seen as the real innovation. On Monday, IBM announced it would put major resources into helping its customers to develop apps built on the blockchain, and Microsoft is also eager to gain an advantage over competitors by building what it calls a “certified blockchain marketplace” on its Azure cloud platform.