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Microsoft invests in blockchain technology

06 Apr 2016

Microsoft has partnered with R3, a consortium consisting of 43 financial institutions, to create a strategy to speed up use of blockchain technologies.

According to a new Research and Markets report, the partnership is believed to be an attempt by Microsoft to best Amazon, Google and IBM, all of whom are offering their technological expertise to banks and other financial institutions looking to utilise blockchain technologies in their everyday operations.

The first commercial deployments of Microsoft's blockchain are expected to go live in about a year, but it could be between three to five years before blockchain technology experiences a significant commercial adoption, according to Resarch and Markets.

Microsoft's partnership with R3 will likely give it an advantage when it comes to winning blockchain contracts from banks, as R3 member companies include Barclays, Credit Suisse Group, UBS Group and more, the analysts say.

Blockchains, otherwise known as online ledgers used for recording digital transactions, enable services and business models that are not viable using existing digital infrastructure. These services, such as cryptocurrencies and smart contract platforms, offer consumers greater financial security and ease of use. It's essential that financial institutions adopt such technology to ensure satisfied and secure customers, Research and Markets says.

Blockchains first came to prominence with the emergence of the digital currency bitcoin. Financial technologies including blockchains are disruptive to the incumbent financial system, due to such technologies ability to erase the need for intermediary trust agents for payment processing, hence why many banks are now looking to explore the possibilities offered by such technology, Research and Markets says.

According to Research and Markets, the global bitcoin technology market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.26% over the 2015-2020 period. However, this estimation could be higher than predicted if global financial institutions continue to partner with technology giants and implement FinTech services in their offerings.

 
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