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Why Microsoft’s Partnership with R3CV Is Making News

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Apr. 11 2016, Updated 9:07 a.m. ET

Microsoft’s partners with R3CV to develop blockchain technology

On April 4, 2016, Microsoft (MSFT) used the platform of the Envision 2016 business conference to announce its partnership with R3CV. Founded in 2013, R3CV has developed into a banking consortium with more than 40 banks and financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup, Bank of America (BAC), and Morgan Stanley (MS).

The company’s partnership with R3CV is garnering a lot of attention due to blockchain technology. Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, stated this partnership will enable both Microsoft and R3CV to “develop, test and deploy blockchain technologies to modernize decades-old processes and streamline operations, potentially saving billions of dollars from back-office operations.”

Microsoft stated that through this partnership, banks will have open access to MS Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. It also expects to have dedicated technology support along with project managers and lab assistance at its technology centers.

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Microsoft has high hopes for blockchain technology

Microsoft (MSFT) is also trying to incorporate blockchain technology into its own offerings. Johnson cleared the air, stating that Microsoft is not keen to simply experiment with the technology, but that it also intends to become a key player in this space. Johnson said, “We’d like to be the cloud infrastructure under all of them.”

Commenting on the partnership, Microsoft and R3CV noted that together they can “accelerate the use of distributed ledger technologies, also known as blockchain.” Before focusing on and approaching Microsoft for the partnership, R3CV was in talks with IBM (IBM) and Amazon (AMZN).

In late March 2016, Microsoft announced its support buildup for an Ethereum programming language, Solidity, into its Visual Studio.

Investors who wish to gain exposure to Microsoft might consider investing in the iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD). IWD has an exposure of 3.4% to application software and invests ~2.0% of its holdings in Microsoft.

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