Friday, 22 June 2018 08:49

Microsoft, UK firm working on blockchain to track gaming royalties

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Software giant Microsoft and British service company EY are working on a blockchain network that can streamline the calculation of royalties between Microsoft, game publishers and developers among others.

In a statement, Microsoft said the network was being built using the Quorum blockchain on its Azure cloud computing platform.

The company explained the technology thus: "Blockchain is a ledger that can be added to but not modified, making it very secure. Each entry is secured into blocks of entries, and each new block is linked to the previous one. It is historically known as a core part of the digital currency bitcoin but can be used for any transaction of value."

The network has been created so that owners of intellectual property can track how their IP is used and also how licensing agreements and partnerships help them make money.

Testing of the network began in February and it could be extended to other key Microsoft partners later in 2018.

Microsoft said it would look at opening the solution to its other partners to aid them in collecting royalties.

“The scale, complexity and volume of digital rights and royalties transactions makes this a perfect application for blockchains,” said Paul Brody, global innovation leader for blockchain at EY.

“With a blockchain, we can handle the unique nature of each contract between digital rights owners and licensors in a scalable, efficient manner with a verifiable audit trail.

“By deploying this on Azure, we believe this will be highly scalable across thousands of royalties and content partners.”

This is not the first blockchain network to be built atop Azure. In March, British fintech Nivaura launched the first blockchain-based investment product on Azure.

Microsoft has also been involved in the Coco Framework for companies, a blockchain service that can handle more than 1600 transactions per second. This was in August 2017.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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