What is a blockchain?
Blockchain is a transparent and verifiable system that will change the way people think about exchanging value and assets, enforcing contracts and sharing data. The technology is a shared, secure ledger of transactions distributed among a network of computers, rather than resting with a single provider. Businesses are using blockchain as a common data layer to enable a new class of apps. Now, business processes and data can be shared across multiple organisations, which eliminates waste, reduces the risk of fraud and creates new revenue streams.
How Blockchain will accelerate business performance and power the smart economy
“When fully automated, blockchain can enforce consistency in execution, assist with dispute resolution, increase accountability and deliver end-to-end transparency that can inform better business decisions.”Read more
What are businesses doing with blockchain?
Find out how blockchain is transforming the financial services industry
Explore how blockchain is being applied across the banking, capital markets and insurance industries. See how blockchain helps financial services institutions eliminate intermediaries, collaborate more efficiently and create disruptive new business models.
Discover how blockchain can create smarter, more efficient supply chains
Read about how blockchain helps resolve disputes quickly and transparently. Discover how blockchain adds visibility to the corporate supply chain by keeping a single, real-time view that’s consistent for everyone.
Learn how blockchain is redefining digital identities and data exchange
A digital identity is everything that defines a person in the digital world. People want more control over the data that they share and how long companies can hold on to it. See how businesses are using blockchain to give users autonomy over their personal data.
Why use blockchain on Azure?
Cut development time and experiment easily with modular, preconfigured networks and infrastructure.
Get up and running quickly
Iterate and validate blockchain scenarios quickly by using built-in connections to Azure and tools you’re already familiar with.
Innovate with confidence
Keep your data secure and scale when you need to – on an open, trusted, globally available cloud platform.
Customers are doing great things with blockchain on Azure
Ground-breaking insurance blockchain solution runs in Microsoft Azure
Webjet uses Azure to power Rezchain, a payment reconciliation service for the online travel market
Microsoft uses blockchain to deliver royalty statements to Xbox game publishers faster with significant efforts reduction
Bühler will track crops from farm to fork using blockchain technology
The Monetary Authority of Singapore uses blockchain on Azure for clearing and settlement of securities
Interswitch uses Azure Blockchain Workbench to build a more prosperous Africa
3M uses Azure Blockchain to enable a new label-as-a-service approach for securing their supply chains
Nasdaq brings blockchain to capital markets with Microsoft Azure
Blockchain workflow application
Businesses use blockchain to digitize workflows they share with other organizations, such as moving physical assets across supply chains. The anatomy of blockchain apps is similar across use cases. Here, we use Azure Blockchain Service as the foundational managed blockchain network and build a consortium application that can ingest signals from relevant user interfaces and communicate ledger data to consuming apps across the consortium.
- 1 Relevant apps, devices, and data sources send events or data to a message broker (Azure Service Bus).
- 2 The distributed ledger technology (DLT) consumer Logic App fetches the data from the Service Bus and sends to transaction builder which builds and signs the transaction.
- 3 The signed transaction gets routed to Azure Blockchain Service (fully managed Ethereum consortium network) via a ledger-specific Logic App connector.
- 4 The DLT watcher Logic App gets confirmation of the transaction commitment to the blockchain and sends the confirmed blockchain transactions to off-chain databases and storage.
- 5 Information is analyzed and visualized using tools such as Power BI by connecting to off-chain database
- 6 Message broker sends ledger data to consuming business process applications.
Supply Chain Track and Trace
A common blockchain pattern is IoT-enabled monitoring of an asset as it moves along a multi-party supply chain. A great example of this pattern is the refrigerated transportation of perishable goods such as food or pharmaceuticals where certain compliance rules must be met throughout the duration of the transportation process. In this scenario, an initiating counterparty (such as a retailer) specifies contractual conditions, such as a required humidity and temperature range, that the custodians on the supply chain must adhere to. At any point, if the device takes a temperature or humidity measurement that is out of range, the smart contract state will be updated to indicate that it’s out of compliance, recording a transaction on the blockchain and triggering remediating events downstream.
- 1 IoT devices communicate with IoT Hub. IoT Hub has a route configured that will send specific messages to a Service Bus associated with that route. The message is still in the native format for the device and needs to be translated to the format used by Azure Blockchain Workbench. An Azure Logic App performs that transformation. It is triggered when a new message is added to the Service Bus associated with the IoT hub. It then transforms the message and delivers it to the Service Bus used to deliver messages to Azure Blockchain workbench. The first service bus effectively serves as an “Outbox” for IoT Hub and the second one serves as an “Inbox” for Azure Blockchain Workbench.
- 2 DLT Consumer fetches the data from the message broker (Service Bus) and sends data to Transaction Builder – Signer.
- 3 Transaction Builder builds and signs the transaction.
- 4 The signed transaction gets routed to the Blockchain (Private Ethereum Consortium Network).
- 5 DLT Watcher gets confirmation of the transaction commitment to the Blockchain and sends the confirmation to the message broker (Service Bus).
- 6 DB consumers send confirmed blockchain transactions to off-chain databases (Azure SQL Database).
- 7 Information analysed and visualised using tools such as Power BI by connecting to off-chain database (Azure SQL Database).
- 8 Events from the ledger are delivered to Event Grid and Service Bus for use by downstream consumers. Examples of “downstream consumers” include logic apps, functions or other code that is designed to take action on the events. For example, an Azure Function could receive an event and then place that in a datastore such as SQL Server.
Jump-start your blockchain project on Azure
Build with the ledger that suits your use case
Use the Corda distributed ledger platform to deploy a multi-participant, multi-node network, plus a network map, notaries and peers.
Deploy a variety of Ethereum network topologies in minutes. Manage nodes with cross-region deployments, VM scale sets and monitoring.
Build your own blockchain apps with help from our trusted partners
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young uses blockchain-enabled platforms to connect all parties in the marine-insurance process.
Global team of experts help enterprises rationalise investments and build effective strategies around blockchain use cases.
Get the latest news from the Azure blog
A few months back, at SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW event, we announced the availability of Azure Mv2 Virtual Machines (VMs) with up to 6 TB of memory for SAP HANA. We also reiterated our commitment to making Microsoft Azure the best cloud for SAP HANA.
The Marco Polo Network is now generally available on Azure to help both trade banks and corporations take advantage the R3 Corda distributed ledger to better facilitate global trade in this ever-changing world. Regardless of what headlines will lead you to believe, international trade is the lifeblood of the modern global economy.
After first emerging as the basis for the Bitcoin protocol, blockchain has since gained momentum as a way to digitize business processes that extend beyond the boundaries of a single organization. While digital currencies use the shared ledger to track transactions and balances, enterprises are coming together to use the ledger in a different way.
Internet of Things
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Big data and analytics
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