Microsoft bans cryptocurrency mining on its online services

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  • Microsoft users will require pre-approval from the firm to mine crypto using Microsoft Azure.
  • Microsoft is taking measures to increase the stability of its cloud services.
  • Microsoft introduced the new restrictions as part of its universal license terms of Microsoft Online Services.

Cloud computing giant Microsoft has introduced new restrictions on activities like cryptocurrency mining and users will now require a written pre-approval from the company to be allowed to use Microsoft Azure for mining cryptocurrencies. The new restrictions are aimed at increasing the stability of its cloud services.

Microsoft updated its ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ on December 1 noting that “mining cryptocurrency is prohibited without prior Microsoft approval.” Users will therefore be required to get pre-approval from Microsoft to be allowed to use any Microsoft Online Services for cryptocurrency mining.

According to a report by British technology news agency The Register, Microsoft quietly banned crypto mining from its online services to protect its clouds and customers. The move comes amid a declining crypto market after the FTX debacle.

Microsoft stated:

“We made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of disrupting or impairing services in the Microsoft Cloud.”

Permission to mine crypto for research and testing

While the company introduced restrictions on crypto miming Microsoft Online Services, it also noted that it may consider permission for mining cryptocurrencies for research and testing purposes.

Microsoft Online Services is a key component of the firm’s software-as-a-service strategy. The online services include the Microsoft Azure cloud computing network, which users use for cryptocurrency mining. Microsoft had previously experimented with launching Ethereum Blockchain as a Service on Azure sometime in 2015 before quietly terminating the Azure Blockchain service in September last year.

Cloud computing providers increasingly banning crypto mining

By adopting the new cryptocurrency mining restrictions, Microsoft joins other major cloud computing providers in banning crypto mining activities. Google prohibits engaging in crypto mining without prior written approval from Google. Digital Ocean also requires customers to get written permission for mining.

Other providers like Oracle have completely banned crypto mining on their cloud.

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