Microsoft wants to build blockchain tokens in the cloud to be as easy as plugging in a printer.
Just like printers were once a pain to set up with a mishmash of printer types and their device-specific drivers, Gray says that enterprise-oriented crypto tokens are currently suffering from the same pitfalls.
“You can go and buy a printer or any type of device [now] and just plug it in and it works. It’s the same analogy here for tokens and that is what we are building in Azure.” Marley Gray
Announced at the Microsoft Ignite Conference in Orlando, Fla., the platform allows businesses to choose from a growing set of token-building templates that conform to the Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI), a standard push and enterprise consortium headed by Gray.
So far, there have been a number of TTI-compliant tokens which built for uses like loyalty rewards or to incentivize software teams to meet stated goals, as well as traditional financial instruments like letters of credit in trade finance.
However, the TTI has already gone further than other enterprise plays in getting different and competing blockchain factions, from IBM to R3 to Ethereum variants, under one roof.
“We are creating a platform in the cloud where any token within the TTI framework can snap into place. So you can build applications where you want to use tokens with, for example, Dynamics, SAP, applications in the [Microsoft] Office suite or some other business automation process.” Marley Gray
Likewise, the Azure Blockchain Tokens platform is being released alongside a host of example tokens.
A spokeswoman for the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), which is where Gray kicked off the token taxonomy, said that while these examples are not yet in commercial production, all the specs are there to download. A tech team can basically say, “I want one of these,” the spokeswoman said.
“It is definitely not. This includes IBM, R3, Digital Asset. We are partners with them all.” Marley Gray
Along the same lines, Gray also said that there should be “portability” of these token types across clouds and networks, depending on whatever infrastructure people need.
Thus, he concluded:
“The industry has suffered from an IBM versus Microsoft thing, Hyperledger versus ethereum, and so on. We are trying to break down those barriers.” Marley Gray