Microsoft Unveils New Azure Blockchain Development Kit

Microsoft Unveils New Azure Blockchain Development Kit
May 9, 2019


The cryptocurrency market remains mixed with some of the coins in the positive region, while a few of them are undergoing a correction. Bitcoin (BTC) continues to march forward with little resistance. The king of cryptocurrencies, touted as a store of value, has crossed above the psychological level of $6,000 to trade at $6,075 levels at the time of writing this article. That represents a gain of 13.4% in a week. Ethereum (ETH) remains steady at $172.38, with a gain of 8.1% in a week. Other major altcoins have recorded decent weekly gains. This includes EOS (EOS-$4.94, 4.1%), TRON (TRX-$0.0244, 2.8%), Bitcoin Cash ($291.64, 8%) and Litecoin (LTC-$75.37, 3.0%). The native currency of blockchain based real-time gross settlement provider Ripple (XRP-$0.3020, 0.2%) has remained flat over the past week. Stellar (XLM-$0.0955, -5.1%), Cardano (ADA-$0.0643, -5.9%), IOTA (MIOTA-$0.2772, -5%) are the three major cryptos which have lost ground in the past week.


Government level initiatives

Belfast, UK, is collaborating with Colu to launch Belfast Coin

Authorities in Belfast, UK, collaborated with Israeli cryptocurrency company Colu to introduce their own blockchain-based token. Colu, which runs regional blockchain-based cryptocurrency facilities in four cities, will release Belfast coin to assist domestic enterprises later this year. The cryptocurrency development plan is a part of Belfast’s participation in the 100 Resilient Cities initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation and will considerably help its advancement, Colu said.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey had the following to say regarding the selection for the project: “Being selected to be part of the city currency challenge means an important opportunity for Belfast, and I’m delighted that this has been made possible through our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, and working with Colu.”

Unlike Colu’s coins in Liverpool, London, and Israel, Belfast coin will comprise an incentive component, rewarding members for carrying out duties like civic volunteering.


Private sector initiatives

RFI to test R3’s Marco Polo blockchain platform

Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has decided to trial R3’s Marco Polo blockchain platform specially built for trade finance.  Marco Polo, which is based on R3’s enterprise-level blockchain software Corda, is already trialed by global banks such as BNP Paribas, ING, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as members. Other distinguishable banks which have signed up to trial the platform include NatWest and Standard Chartered Bank.

RBI has been working on expanding its operations in the Central and Eastern Europe market, after posting a consolidated profit of €1.27 billion (~$142 billion), up 14% year-on-year in 2018.

Marco Polo utilizes TradeIX’s distributed trade funding platform together with Corda and seeks to deliver better cost and time efficiency. Furthermore, the platform aims to provide clarity to commercial banks’ conventional and organized trade finance models. In a declaration, Daniel Cotti, executive director at the RBI Center of Excellence, Banking & Trade, said the bank is seeking to grow its geographic reach significantly and assist in promoting Marco Polo as Europe’s primary trade finance system.


Microsoft introduces the Azure Blockchain Development Kit

Microsoft has unveiled the new Azure Blockchain Development Kit tailor-made for programmers focused on Ethereum blockchain. The latest offering is supposedly an extension to Visual Studio Code, which is Microsoft’s source-code editor. The development kit has been built to support programmers who are creating apps using Microsoft’s recently released Azure Blockchain Service, which is fundamentally a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform.

The latest version can also be utilized for developing apps on the public Ethereum network. Furthermore, the development kit enables programmers to use open source blockchain tools such as Solidity and Truffle.

While community-released Solidity and many other blockchain tools are available for Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s blog post points out that this is the first time the software giant has introduced such development tools.


Starbucks to use Azure to track coffee production

US-based high-end coffee chain Starbucks is deploying Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service to trace coffee production. Starbucks initially announced its “bean to cup” endeavor in 2018, stating that it would join hands with farmers in Costa Rica, Rwanda, and Colombia to trial a blockchain-based coffee-tracking software.

The system will supposedly permit clients to track coffee production and will pave the way for financial opportunities for farmers of the coffee bean. Additionally, Starbucks revealed that it would open source the trial project to publicize the results. Both enterprises submitted several joint projects at Microsoft’s Build Conference. Other initiatives supposedly include ‘predictive drive-thru ordering’ and linking Internet-of-Things (IoT)-capable devices at several cafe venues.

Disclaimer: Any financial trading analysis offered here is our opinion and is not intended as advice or direction for investors. We cannot guarantee the success of any trades made as a consequence of this article, and we encourage traders to incorporate a strong money management strategy to limit losses when they enter the markets. Please use this article as part of your own research before formulating strategies prior to trading.



Janine is our editor for related stock market news. Andrew and Janine will be focusing on providing the latest trends and where the next hit could be

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