Microsoft has added four new partners, including BitPay, to its Azure blockchain-toolkit platform.

Microsoft has announced that four new partners joined its Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, including bitcoin payment processor BitPay. The other companies that have joined the program, the company said in the blog post, include cryptocurrency tax services provider LibraTax, blockchain platform Emercoin and Manifold Technology, a provider of blockchain technology for financial organizations.

LibraTax offers the reporting, accounting, audit and integration layer for the blockchain technology. The company, which was opened in 2014, provides automatic calculation of bitcoin transactions, while ensuring IRS compliance.

Emercoin is a provider of innovative blockchain services developed for the banking industry. It facilitates secure and simultaneous transfer of digital property, eliminating the possibility of fraud. Meantime, the California-based Manifold Technology offers blockchain technology for asset liquidity and transactional analytics.

Last month, Microsoft teamed up with Eris, CoinPrism (OpenChain) and Factom that joined its cloud computing platform.

The BaaS platform was actually unveiled at the DEVCON1 conference in November. It was created for financial institutions, such as insurance companies and banks, that could leverage the blockchain technology.

A month later, the company announced a partnership with an Ethereum collective ConsenSys to provide development instruments via the Azure cloud platform. The agreement makes it easier for companies to develop their own decentralized apps built on the platform.

BitPay is by far the largest member of the Microsoft’s blockchain offering. Founded in 2011, the US-based company has turned into one of the major digital currency payment providers. In 2014, BitPay recorded $1 million in transactions per day. The company serves more than 65,000 businesses around the world.

Among other members of the Microsoft BaaS platform is Ripple, which designs financial solutions to conduct international transactions instantly and at a lower cost.

MIcrosoft added in a blog post that it is planning to add new partners within the next weeks. Besides, it has added the new resources , including C++ Ethereum client and CryptoSwap Demonstration Video from ConsenSys and an OpenChain Validator Single Node from CoinPrism.

Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based services platform that allows customers to experiment with new apps, including smart contracts.

The global demand for cloud services is showing huge growth. More and more companies are currently moving their businesses to the cloud computing due to a wide range of benefits, including lower cost and higher security. According to a research conducted by Global Industry Analysts, the world market for cloud computing services is forecast to reach $127 billion by 2017.

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