Microsoft, Axelar team up to ‘further advance’ adoption of blockchain technologies

Axelar’s co-founder told Blockworks the two hope to figure out how to “extend the trust of public blockchains to the private blockchain”

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The Art of Pics/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Microsoft is teaming up with Axelar to build a data integration and interoperability layer. The companies say they hope to help deliver blockchain onramps, and also indicated a desire to “further advance the adoption of blockchain technologies.”

Axelar, which is backed by Coinbase Ventures, Binance, and Galaxy to name a few, is an interoperability network that allows for secure cross-chain communication in Web3. Co-founder Sergey Gorbunov said Axelar has “been connecting a lot of public blockchains and kind of simplifying developer and user experiences.”

In an interview with Blockworks, Gorbunov stated, “I think there’s going to be a need to connect a lot of the private blockchains as well kind of make sure that assets can be issued in a secure and sort of a decentralized way across traditional Web2 stacks and Web3 stacks, and so for us, it’s a way to expand our distribution right to a lot of corporate/enterprise customers use cases around asset issuance.”

Daniel An, director of business development at Microsoft Web3 & AI, said the partnership will “accelerate blockchain integration and deliver valuable solutions to our customers.”

“By leveraging our strengths and expertise, we can empower organizations to embrace blockchain technology and transform their operations,” he said. 

The partnership intends to allow customers to access services and developer tools on AxelarJS SDX, and Axelar General Message Passing on Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace. The two will also collaborate on “AI and hybrid blockchain initiatives.” 

Gorbunov said that, through Azure, Microsoft customers will be able to “utilize all of [Axelar’s] stack.”

Specifically, customers will get access to modules on Axelar’sJS SDX, including AxelarAssetTRansfer, which allows for cross-chain token transfer through deposit address generation and Axelar QueryAPI, which is a collection of “helpful predefined queries into the network” according to Axelar’s website

Axelar’s GMP is also used by asset management protocol Sommelier

Customers will also be able to access “an end-to-end blockchain interoperability solution that is programmable and secure.”

Gorbunov told Blockworks there’s a lot of “exploratory work” for Microsoft and Axelar, but the two are working together to “figure out how do we extend the trust of public blockchains to the private blockchain.”

The partners will “explore innovative solutions that will further advance the maturity of the Web3 industry, such as seamlessly connecting private with public blockchains and leveraging Azure OpenAI services to create entirely new experiences in Web3,” the press release said.

Gorbunov hopes that Axelar, as part of its partnership with Microsoft, can focus on the need for decentralized interoperability.

“I think, overall, we’ve seen a lot of collapse from like centralized players, right, like centralized exchanges, because they’ve been offering interoperability in a centralized way, right? By just running a central database in the middle,” Gorbunov told Blockworks.

“And I think what we’re trying to do with Axelar plus what we’re trying to do with Microsoft and beyond that is really making sure that any connectivity or any application that you want to build across different ledgers can still be robust, can still be secure and decentralized.”

An example, he added, would be something Axelar has been “tackling pretty aggressively,” which is “cross-chain asset transfers and you still have decentralized exchanges being cross-chain.”


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