Microsoft Azure announced today the first certified offerings for its Blockchain-as-a-Service cloud platform. In his blog post, Marley Gray, Director of Business Development and Strategy at Microsoft, said that three new platforms have been added: STRATO, AlphaPoint and IOTA.

BlockApps STRATO allows developers to build proof-of-concepts and fully functional applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The STRATO platform acts as a sandbox, which allows users to experiment with launching private and public Ethereum blockchains.

“STRATO also offers adjustable consensus formation algorithms and transaction verification rules such as instant, round robin signature pool, proof of work, and proof of stake.”

AlphaPoint’s software is being used by many digital currency and Forex exchanges across the globe. The addition of AlphaPoint to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform will give developers the necessary tools to design blockchain-based financial applications, “The company’s future offerings on the Azure Marketplace will allow users to test and build blockchain applications leveraging a .NET stack.” said Gray.

IOTA’s distributed ledger system is different from traditional blockchain architecture. The IOTA cryptocurrency is based on the Tangle (Directed Acyclic Graph) protocol, which features flexible block sizes. According to Gray’s post, the IOTA blockchain addresses the scalability problems that are currently strangling Bitcoin.

“IOTA came up with this model to solve the scalability issues of the blockchains which become very apparent in the world of Internet of Things.”

In his blog post, Gray also revealed a preview of the Azure DevTest Labs environment. Users of DevTest Labs can launch Win/Linux virtual machine instances with pre-made templates and highly customizable parameters.

 

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