The main driver of today's entry is the news -- which has largely percolated -- that ConsenSys acquired Quorum from J.P. Morgan, as well as received an investment from the bank in the company. There is a lot of jargon in the blockchain industry, and I want to try to pull this news apart to explain why it is interesting both to incumbent financial services players, as well as meaningful to the developing decentralized finance industry.
At the Ethereum Developer Conference on November 9, Microsoft announced that it would offer blockchain building blocks as part of its Azure cloud hosting platform; the Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) offering allows developers to quickly launch an Ethereum environment which includes code building blocks for SmartContracts and a semi-private testing environment with a blockchain which then can be migrated to the public Ethereum environment; the offering is in partnership with development house ConsenSys. Source
Ahead of his presentation at LendIt Europe 2017, Richard Peers, Director of the Financial Services Industry at Microsoft discusses fintech with Verdict; provides his perspective on artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, challenger banks, why London is a great place for startups, and what firms can learn from the Chinese market. Source
At $13 billion of revenue and 800 million users in 2016, Office 365 roughly generated $20 per user. That's like Monzo, but with the user foot print of Ant Financial.
You might think the comparison is daft. But let's dig a bit deeper. Excel, and spreadsheets more generally, are the default behavior for managing personal finances. Even for financial advisors, who are supposed to be the precise niche leveraging financial planning software, Excel is the default "do nothing" option. If you are not paying for digital wealth software as an advisor, you are doing it in Excel.
Microsoft has partnered with AMIS and the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan to form Asia's first blockchain consortium; the partnership will build on the success of Microsoft's Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) on Microsoft Azure which it announced in April; the consortium will focus on blockchain solutions that provide increased efficiency and cost savings for companies in Taiwan. Source
The Confidential Consortium framework called Coco is an ethereum-based protocol that organizations can use to process information on the ethereum blockchain; Microsoft Azure's CTO says it can help enterprises scale their operations securely; explaining the benefits of the technology, Coco user, Tom Racette, vice president at Mojix, said: "Being able to run our existing supply chain Dapp code much faster within Coco framework is a great performance improvement that will reduce friction when we talk about enterprise blockchain readiness with our retail customers. Adding data confidentiality support without sacrificing this improvement is what will enable us to lead the digital transformation we are envisioning with smart supply chains." Source
This week, we look at a breakthrough artificial intelligence release from OpenAI, called GPT-3. It is powered by a machine learning algorithm called a Transformer Model, and has been trained on 8 years of web-crawled text data across 175 billion parameters. GPT-3 likes to do arithmetic, solve SAT analogy questions, write Harry Potter fan fiction, and code CSS and SQL queries. We anchor the analysis of these development in the changing $8 trillion landscape of our public companies, and the tech cold war with China.