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November 2016

Microsoft Adds Blockchain Tools to Power Platform



It helps the cryptocurrency sector when the broader world begins to utilize the digital assets’ underpinning technology. Of course, I’m talking about blockchain technology. Therefore, it’s a great push for the decentralized asset when technology giant Microsoft clearly becomes a huge advocate for blockchain.

How is it an advocate? Well, it is reportedly making blockchain-based tools available to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow users. The news has come first from tech publication GeekWire.

Microsoft and Blockchain

According to the sources, Microsoft will announce plans for adding blockchain tools to its Power Platform at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit today in Atlanta. It has specified that AI and blockchain tools are the latest additions in the company’s PowerApps custom application builder and PowerBI business intelligence tool.

Microsoft’s Power Platform is a suite of tools that allows collaborators to build custom apps, to help automate workflows, and to analyze data. The suite consists of three tools: Power BI, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft Using Blockchain

The tech giant is not new to using blockchain. It has previously released several blockchain-powered tools based on its products.

Most recently, it introduced the new Azure Blockchain Development Kit specifically for the Ethereum blockchain. This aided developers who are building apps using Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service.

Also in May, it revealed that it is “building a decentralized identity network atop of the Bitcoin blockchain.”

>> The Latest in Cryptocurrency Regulations and the G20 Summit


Tech competitor IBM entered the blockchain arena earlier in 2019. It developed its own blockchain aimed at financial services companies like banks. Called LedgerConnect, IBM’s blockchain is a proof of concept blockchain platform that applies blockchain technology to a number of financial areas including sanctions screening, know-your-customer processes (KYC), collateral management, and derivatives post-trade processing.

What do you think about Microsoft adding blockchain tools to its Power Platform? Off the back of India’s proposed crypto bill, which will put cryptocurrency holders in jail, the crypto space needs more big companies to make moves in its favor.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © scanrail

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Telegram Releases Test Gram Wallet Despite Pending SEC Suit



Telegram has released a test version of its desktop wallet for its own digital coin, known as Grams, despite an injunction from the SEC preventing the launch of its planned blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON).

Users can download the desktop app on Windows, macOS, and Linux 64 bit from Telegram’s official website. The app greets users with the message, “Now you have a wallet only you control – directly, without middlemen or bankers.” Users can also engage in test transactions with Grams distributed by a special Telegram bot; however, it warns that these transactions could be delayed at times of high traffic.

The launch of TON, the ambitious blockchain from the messaging app, was delayed last month after the SEC argued that the ICO used to fund its development was illegal. Telegram began raising capital to fund its blockchain project from two separate offerings, which took place between January and March of last year. The company reportedly raised $1.7 billion USD from the sale of 2.9 million Grams, of which approximately $424 million came from the US, which falls under the jurisdiction of the SEC.

The SEC argues that Gram tokens are technically a security, and because Telegram failed to register the ICO with the commission, it was therefore illegal. Telegram has been cooperative with both regulators and its investors in finding a solution to the impasse, and today’s launch clearly shows that the company is focused on carrying through with its plans to launch TON.

>> Ethereum (ETH) Picks Up Momentum Amidst Sudden Interest in Crypto

The project has drawn the eyes of the crypto world, with a secondary market springing up for Gram tokens earlier this year yielding returns in excess of 400%. Under the terms of the highly secretive ICO, initial investors risk voiding their tokens if resold on a secondary market, yet this failed to deter many. Telegram will meet with the SEC on February 18 and 19 of next year to discuss how to move forward with its plans, with TON’s new launch date scheduled for April 31, 2020.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © EdZbarzhyvetsky

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Deutsche Bank Joins JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network Platform

Interbank Information Network

Interbank Information Network

Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, has joined 320 other banks in the JPMorgan blockchain network, the Interbank Information Network (IIN).

The move aims to lower cost for Deutsche Bank, which handles a vaster amount of euro payments relative to any other bank globally. This will also enhance cross-border transactions and thus avoid the costly lag periods.

IIN Platform to Enhance Cross-Border Transactions

According to the bank’s head of cash management globally, Ole Matthiessen, the Interbank Information Network will allow the bank to provide customers with enhanced services. He added that competitors are not just the banks anymore, because there are new players currently in the market. He said that Deutsche Bank needs to be more efficient for it to offer a smooth real-time digital experience to clients.

Matthiessen also indicated that the bank will equally employ the IIN platform in sharing of KYC checks with other financial institutions.

The JPMorgan-led blockchain launched in 2017, and currently, it has a network of 320 banks. Banks exchange payment data between each other through the Ethereum network. The IIN network runs on the JPMorgan Quorum platform and was recently reported to be almost full by co-founder Vitalik Buterin. This is because it is the most common blockchain network for dApps

JPMorgan Looks to Add More Banks on the Platform

JPMorgan’s head of payments, Takis Georgakopoulos, stated if the IIN platform were to have only JPMorgan clients, then it would likely have huge limitations. He added that that will mean that the rest of the smaller banks would still have separate procedures. This is because how they transact with JPMorgan and with other banks would still be different.

>> Ripple (XRP) Falls on Bearish Momentum: What Next?

Georgakopoulos stated that the IIN can accelerate transactions and issues through the provision of a “mutually accessible ledger,” which will save money and time. He expressed his optimism that with having the Deutsche Bank on-board, this will open opportunities for other large banks to go on-board with the IIN platform too.

Besides IIN, R3 and MasterCard’s cross-border blockchain platforms are also working to enhance the speed of global transactions. Despite there being 57 real-time payment platforms in over 72 countries, none are applicable universally.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © jamesteohart

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