Amazon & Microsoft’s Move to Blockchain: Centralized Companies Into Decentralized Ecosystem

Bitcoin, and the idea of digital cash, has taken hold of the banking sector as banks and financial institutions start to experiment internally with blockchains and cryptocurrencies in order to be at the forefront of these technologies.

This, coupled with the fact that government organisations and even global leadership bodies such as the G20 are looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, again give more legitimacy and longevity to the industry.

The latest wave of adoption is now coming from corporations who, traditionally have come to be successful thanks to their centralized domination over different aspects of the market. Microsoft, in the world of computing, are legendary in driving the world to be digital; then there is Amazon, the pioneers of e-commerce.

These companies are in some manner getting forced towards blockchain technology as it has become apparent that this is the future, and even though it goes against their centralized values, they simply cannot miss out.

Microsoft’s entry

Microsoft has always been one of the biggest companies to give Bitcoin its dues. Back in Dec. 2014, content on the Windows and Xbox stores could be bought in Bitcoin, and this was at a time where Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption and appeal was minimal.

This of course was merely a nod towards alternative payment methods, and Microsoft being flexible to its customers wants and needs. However since then, and since blockchain has grown, Microsoft has been pushing to be in front of the innovative queue.

Microsoft has obviously identified the power of blockchain and its far reaching potential for disruptive applications in the world of enterprise business. The company is now developing blockchain applications – which are not that flashy as some of the solutions put forward by startups, but equally practical.

Microsoft is also looking to build platforms on which businesses can grow their blockchain applications upon, such as the Confidential Consortium (Coco) Framework, an Ethereum-based protocol, which falls under Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud computing arm.

They have also announced that they are looking into plans to integrate blockchain-based decentralized IDs (DIDs) into its Microsoft Authenticator app.

The latest from the computing giant is that Azure has released its blockchain app creation service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, on May 7. Workbench aims to allow businesses looking to create bespoke blockchain apps to speed up the development process by automating infrastructure setup.

Amazon’s own efforts

Both Microsoft and Amazon have similar origins with their founders – Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos – being driven men with revolutionary ideas. Therefore it is unsurprising to see these two companies pushing to be on the forefront of a new technological wave.

Gates may be spouting some pretty negative things about Bitcoin, and Bezos may be under siege to accept the digital currency on Amazon, but despite what the two founders think of the cryptocurrency space, it is becoming clear that the future is conquering the companies.

Amazon revolutionized the e-commerce space, and is looking to at least be near to top of the pecking order when blockchain technology truly takes a hold. Just like in banking, there is a rush to get blockchain figured out and usable before the rest of the competition gets to market.

Amazon are already in a battle with IBM and Oracle with its own “blockchain-as-a-service” offering. The blockchain framework for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric, which is allowing users to build and manage their own Blockchain-powered decentralized applications, is being developed in different forms by all three.

Essentially, users would be able to create their own blockchain applications via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudFormation Templates tool to avoid time-consuming manual setups of their blockchain network.

Oracle and others also entering the space

Oracle, the world’s second-largest software company, also recently unveiled blockchain products, and will be releasing them over the next two months. Again, it was a similar cloud service built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric project like Microsoft, and equally similar to IBM’s blockchain service, announced a year ago.

Major companies are also jumping on the blockchain bandwagon in different easy, shapes and forms. Huawei is loading its phones with a built-in Bitcoin wallet;  Samsung revealed that it will use blockchain for managing its global supply chain; Spanish banking group BBVA became the first global bank to issue a loan on a blockchain, and use-cases continue to grow around the world.

Oracle and others also entering the space

Why the blockchain drive?

It was not long ago that people were calling Bitcoin a fad, a scam, and something that will not last for long. Those voices have been silenced somewhat as even banks, one of the biggest detractors of cryptocurrencies, are realising that they need to be on the forefront of this emerging technology.

The excitement is spreading, and it is creating an arms race even outside banks and the finance sector. Blockchain technology, while intrinsically attached to cryptocurrencies, also has many applications for other sectors. These applications are being explored, and evaluated.

Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Huawei and others, all realize that with all these possibilities, it would be blind to not dive in, and quick.

AWS vice president Jeff Barr explained in a post:

“Some of the people that I talk to see blockchains as the foundation of a new monetary system and a way to facilitate international payments. Others see blockchains as a distributed ledger and immutable data source that can be applied to logistics, supply chain, land registration, crowdfunding and other use cases,. Either way, it’s clear that there are a lot of intriguing possibilities and we are working to help our customers use this technology more effectively.”

Neil Patel, advisor to Kind Ads, a decentralized ad-network that consults companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, reiterates that these major corporations almost have no choice but to embrace blockchain technology as it is being regarded quite openly as the future of technology. Patel told Cointelegraph:

“Microsoft and Amazon have no choice but to focus on blockchain because it is the future. If they don’t, they know that it will hurt their growth in the cloud computing space. Just look at Facebook, they see the value in blockchain so much that they moved around their executive team to put the ex president of PayPal on blockchain projects.”

Patel’s example above makes mention of how David Marcus, the former president of PayPal and the Facebook executive who has been running the company’s Messenger app, is now assembling a team to explore blockchain technology for the social media platform.

Contradicting ideas

Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies in general all continue to split opinions. However, the voices in the detracting camps are becoming quieter, especially if they are just single voices.

Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, called Bitcoin a fraud and spouted much vitriol about cryptocurrencies – and yet, JP Morgan is building its own blockchain, Quorum. The Head of Microsoft is in a similar situation as he says he would bet on Bitcoin collapsing while his company pushes to be a blockchain leader.

Many of these older viewpoints about how things were done, the centralized control of a sector and the move to monopolize a service, still reside in the likes of Gates and Dimon, but on the company floor, it is a different story.

Blockchain technology is being touted as the future, and it is not just empty words. The amount of money, time and effort being put into blockchain-based research and development by banks and corporations prove there is something more to it than a passing fad.

Most Big Cryptos Dropped this Week – These Two Bucked the Trend

The cryptocurrency markets are set to end the second week of May on a low note.

The total market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies fell below $400 billion for the first time since April 26 on Friday, and has dropped 15.97 percent week-on-week. As of writing, the combined market value stands at $385 billion and could see a further decline as indicated by a head-and-shoulders breakdown pattern on the price charts.

Looking at notable individual cryptocurrencies, bitcoin (BTC) has depreciated by 12 percent week-on-week and has outperformed its closer rivals. For instance, ethereum (ETH) and EOS have dropped 15 percent each and Ripple (XRP) has declined by 34 percent.

Bitcoin’s dominance rate, which represents its percentage of the total market capitalization, moved above 38 percent for the first time since late April. This likely indicates that money is possibly being rotated back into bitcoin from alternative cryptocurrencies, so BTC’s relatively good performance this week is not surprising.

Names like NEM (XEM), stellar (XLM) and cardano (ADA) are ranked higher on the list of biggest losers among the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

The only gainers this week are two lesser-known cryptocurrencies: bytecoin (BCN) and zilliqa (ZIL).

Top weekly gainers

Bytecoin

Weekly performance: +32.70 percent
All-time high: $0.0186
Closing price on May 4: $0.006733
Current market price: $0.010005
Rank as per market capitalization: 17

Bytecoin (BCN) picked up a bid on Tuesday and rose to a fresh record high of $0.01862, according to CoinMarketCap, seemingly due to cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s decision to list the cryptocurrency.

As of writing, BCN is changing hands at $0.010 – down 46 percent from record highs, but still reporting a 35 percent week-on-week rise.

Daily chart

The pullback from the record highs has neutralized the immediate bullish outlook. That said, the ascending (bullish) 5-day and 10-day moving averages (MAs) indicate the bulls are still in the game. Only a daily close (as per UTC) below $0.006 (May 8 low) would signal a bullish-to-bearish trend change.

Zilliqa

Weekly performance: +13.84 percent
All-time high: $0.2306
Closing price on May 4: $0.132311
Current market price: $0.153565
Rank as per market capitalization: 23

Zilliqa (ZIL) is the latest entrant in the list of cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion. The cryptocurrency clocked a record high of $0.2306 on May 10, according to CoinMarketCap. Its BTC-denominated exchange rate rose to a life-time high of $0.00002508 BTC yesterday and was last seen at 0.00001847 BTC on Binance.

Daily chart

Currently, the downside is being capped by the ascending (bullish) 5-day MA. The 10-day MA is also biased bullish.

However, the relative strength index (RSI) is turning lower from the overbought zone, so prices might find acceptance below the 10-day MA (currently seen in 0.000016) next week and signal bullish invalidation.

Biggest weekly losers

NEM

Weekly performance: -40.42 percent
All-time high: $2.09
Closing price on May 4: $0.431269
Current market price: $0.307124
Rank as per market capitalization: 14

NEM (XEM) fell sharply this week and is currently trading below the 50-day MA located at $0.3241, according to Poloniex.

The news flow during the week has been somewhat positive, though. For instance, Abra, the global app that allows you to buy, store, and invest in 25 cryptocurrencies, has added XEM to its platform. Further, NEM’s appearance at CoinDesk’s Consensus blockchain conference in New York from May 14-16 is being touted as its biggest event and has generated investor interest.

However, all that has failed to put a bid under XEM prices. It appears as though the technical failure around the $0.45 mark seems to have enticed the bears.

Daily chart

The rounding top pattern, the 5-day and 10-day MA bearish crossover and a break below the 50-day MA, as seen in the chart above, suggest scope for a further drop towards to $0.22-$0.19. The RSI is also biased to the bears and is well above the oversold territory (above 30.00), backing up the likelihood of a drop in XEM prices.

Stellar

Weekly performance: -40.22 percent
All-time high: $0.9381
Closing price on May 4: $0.43114
Current market price: $0.374065
Rank as per market capitalization: 8

Stellar (XLM) has taken a beating this week, having created multiple doji candles signaling bull exhaustion in the daily chart last week. As of writing, XLM is looking weak, courtesy of a convincing break below the key support of $0.32 and the 5-day and 10-day MA crossover. The daily RSI is also trending south, indicating a bearish setup.

So, the cryptocurrency looks set to clear the 200-day MA support, currently seen at $0.29. A close below the long-term average would expose support lined up at $0.258 (Feb. 6 low). Only a daily close (as per UTC) above $0.32 (April 25 low) would abort the bearish view.

Cardano

Weekly performance: -40.02 percent
All-time high: $1.33
Closing price on May 4: $0.360182
Current market price: $0.257219
Rank as per market capitalization: 7

Cardano (ADA) is moving more mainstream via a new partnership with Metaps Plus, one of the largest payment platforms in South Korea.

However, so far the good news has not been able to put a floor under ADA prices. ADA/USD fell to $0.2475 today – the lowest level since April 18 – and could extend losses further, courtesy of the bearish setup as seen in the chart below.

Daily chart

ADA seems to have found acceptance below the 100-day MA and the bearish bias would strengthen further if it closes (as per UTC) below $0.255 (April 25 low). The RSI is trending south and still well short of the oversold territory (hold above 30.00).

So, there is room for a further drop towards $0.18 (March 9 low). Only a daily close above the 10-day MA (seen today at $0.332) would abort the bearish view.

Photo via Pixabay.

AltcoinToday.com

Source: Coindesk

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