JPMorgan and Microsoft team up on blockchain

JPMorgan is tapping Microsoft’s cloud-based services to boost its blockchain platform, aiming to make it easier, faster and cheaper for companies to build and deploy blockchain applications.

Microsoft’s Azure will power the platform, named Quorum, which will allow enterprises to build new blockchain applications in as little as a few weeks without needing as much expertise, said Umar Farooq, JPMorgan’s head of blockchain initiatives.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“It was important to make sure that we could provide the sort of enterprise tools and services that [companies] need,” Farooq said.

While the bank does not charge companies to use Quorum, Farooq said getting more organizations to use one blockchain platform could help iron out standards for building blockchain applications and sharing data.

French luxury-goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is using Quorum to provide proof of authenticity of its luxury goods, according to a person familiar with the matter. LVMH declined to comment.

Best known as the record-keeping system behind cryptocurrencies, blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create and share a digital ledger of transactions among various parties. The data, encrypted and unchangeable, is always up to date on all participants’ systems.

JPMorgan built Quorum about four years ago on the blockchain-based Ethereum network. The bank also uses Quorum for internal purposes, such as to experiment with how blockchain could be used for capital markets. It issued its digital coin, the JPM Coin, on Quorum.

Through the Microsoft Azure partnership, technology teams will get access to tools to write and test blockchain code. The code can be managed in the Azure cloud as developers log onto a website and send data from relevant databases to and from the Quorum network. By easing the process for companies, the bank expects more use of blockchain. Without the Azure cloud, blockchain projects require a…

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