Microsoft is re-launching its blockchain

Microsoft is looking to re-enter the blockchain game with a new service aiming to help settle payment disputes.

The Windows 10 maker has revealed a new service aimed at helping companies manage their rights and royalty payments using the technology.

The service, powered by Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, will particularly look to target the gaming space, where rights disputes can often prove costly for content providers.

It will allow real-time access and insight into transactions, with a new smart contract systems helping makes sure that the right people get paid for their work.

Microsoft is hoping that the network will become one of the world's largest enterprise blockchain ecosystems when fully operational, potentially processing millions of transactions per day.

Step up

Microsoft has signed up banking titan EY to help support the service, and games publisher Ubisoft is set to be the first test subject, with a full launch soon set to be gradually rolled out worldwide.

The underlying network is built using the Quorum blockchain protocol and Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies, and implements confidentiality of agreements across entities. 

"The scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions makes this a perfect application for blockchains," said Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader, Blockchain. 

"A blockchain can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors can be handled in a scalable, efficient manner with an audit trail for the participants. By deploying this on Microsoft Azure, we believe this will be highly scalable across thousands of royalties and content partners."

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.