A new blockchain-based network – the result of a partnership between software giant Microsoft and consulting firm EY – has the potential to become the world’s biggest enterprise blockchain.
The network will initially be used for the processing of rights and royalties payments to Microsoft’s game publishers. It is, however, expected to eventually have much wider purposes. The network is designed to accommodate any industry that includes licensed assets and royalties: this includes music publishers, authors, production houses, fashion, developers and even the oil industry (which pays landowners for rights to drill on their land) – basically it is aimed at any individual or organization who generates recurring royalty payments.
Before the expansion of this blockchain technology occurs in other industries, Microsoft intends to use it in-house to handle millions of transactions each day for game publishers. This makes the network one of the largest ecosystems for enterprise use.
Paul Brody, global innovation leader for blockchain for EY, says that the reasons for using blockchain are decentralization and smart contracts.
Smart contracts (otherwise called self-executing contracts, blockchain contracts, or digital contracts) are contracts utilizing blockchain technology to facilitate transactions of money, shares, property, or anything else of value, in a transparent and conflict-free method without the need for a third party.
In this partnership, Brody emphasizes the importance of decentralization: “This isn’t just about Microsoft and their business partners – it is ultimately intended to be a general tool set for any company to do digital rights and royalty contracts with any other. That means no centralized control and each company being assured of its own operational privacy.”
Microsoft and EY have teamed up in the past in blockchain ventures. Last month, a previous Microsoft/EY venture, marine insurance for shipping giant Maersk, went live. The product of the partnership, called Insurwave, has already been called a “game changer” for the industry.