Microsoft is stepping into a new role as matchmaker in its creation of the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Council.
Confirmed in new statements to CoinDesk, the council has been established to better connect those looking for distributed ledger tools with the kinds of companies that can build those tools.
Spurred by requests for proposals sent to Microsoft for blockchain services, the software giant now wants to allow its sector-specific partners to bid on those requests. In this way, Microsoft is seeking to provide startups with access to revenue opportunities, while helping to build blockchain solutions for existing clients.
While the council seems a bit like a new consortium effort, the spokesperson said it is actually more than that:
In addition to competing for the requests for proposals, council members are also expected to develop proofs-of-concept that will receive support from Microsoft's blockchain engineering team.
As an increasing number of blockchain applications are being trusted with live transactions, the establishment of the council positions Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services as a way for companies to evolve past the ideation phase with emerging blockchain technology.
Who exactly is part of this effort, however, remains largely unclear.
Synechron, a financial services consulting firm that announced a blockchain accelerator program last year, revealed itself as the first member of the council yesterday. Otherwise, Microsoft is being cautious about revealing any additional members.
"We're going to allow the additional partners to announce their membership when they're ready, and we do expect more members to join," a spokesperson said.