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Microsoft wants to make Bitcoin easier for banks

Microsoft no longer solely counts on Windows 10 to pay the bills. With CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, it's also betting heavily on cloud services, and just revealed an interesting new one: Bitcoin-style encryption. Redmond joined forces with startup ConsenSys on a platform called Ethereum to help business to play around with the blockchain tech used in crypto-currency. The move is well-timed, as banks are starting to get seriously interested in BItcoin-style currency. However, Microsoft said that Bitcoin applications are "just scratching the surface of what can be done when you mix cryptographic security [with the] reliability of blockchain."

The tech can also be used to secure and verify the exchange of any data, which will make it useful to other industries. Via simple templates, companies can create blockchain-based "smart contracts," for instance. However, the main attraction of the tech is still Bitcoin-style money, something that still befuddles financial institutions. Microsoft's tech would let use peer-to-peer networks and "consensus-formation algorithm" to secure the Ethereum-based currency, just like Bitcoin. However they could create their own, far more secure currency than Bitcoin in just 20 minutes and update the value every 15 seconds -- 40 times faster than Bitcoin.