Microsoft’s Azure partners with R3 Blockchain Consortium []

Microsoft’s Azure partners with R3 Blockchain Consortium - Featured @ RJO Ventures, Inc.

Microsoft just announced a deal to provide the computing power for a big group of banks working on ambitious new blockchain-related projects.

Microsoft formed a partnership with a New York-based startup called R3 CEV, which is leading a group of more than 40 banks that includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup, Bank of America Corp., and Morgan Stanley. Through the agreement, the banks will have open access to Azure, a cloud-based service for businesses, as well as dedicated staff and resources from Microsoft.

It’s another step deeper into the world of blockchain technology for Microsoft. Underscoring its importance to the company, the partnership is being unveiled on Monday as part of a keynote speech by CEO Satya Nadella at the company’s Envision conference in New Orleans.

R3 is a private startup, founded in 2013 and majority owned by banking veteran David Rutter, that established the blockchain-banking consortium in September with nine banks. It has since expanded that group to more than 40 banks around the world. The consortium’s goal is to test and build products that utilize the blockchain. That could be new trading and settlement platforms, or issuing financing and securities.