Developers working on the Microsoft Azure platform can win blockchain-powered digital collectibles thanks to a partnership with Enjin. Individuals who have an impact on the development community can be rewarded with a cartoony badger, which is a play on the word ‘badge’. Each badger is available in limited supply, ranging from just one hundred to ten thousand.
Enjin’s and Microsoft consider the partnership a ‘local pilot’. They’ve named it Azure Heroes, which emphasizes the idea of the reward program to highlight helpful people. Not everybody can get a badger. For example, Those who want to earn a token, need to submit their candidacy. After which the submission is reviewed. As a result only valuable community members will receive a digital badger, which they claim by scanning a QR code.
Microsoft digital collectibles are powered by Enjin. The gaming oriented blockchain startup is big on tokenized game assets. So each badger is an ERC-721 token, stored in a wallet. Because wallets are tied to organizations or individuals, these are actual property. These non-fungible tokens are also becoming more popular in video games, for example as cards in trading card games or as weapons in role playing games.
Enjin and Microsoft at the start of something bigger?
The current partnership between Enjin and Microsoft is only a pilot, but for what? Microsoft has a long history of gamifying its work space and services. On top of that the American software behemoth has a major presence in the gaming space with the Xbox One console. At the moment they are working on a successor, tentatively called Project Scarlett.
In an announcement trailer the company’s representatives said the following:
- It’s about choice: mobile, console and pc. (blockchain foundation?)
- The fan at the center of every decision. (digital ownership?)
- Connect with characters that previous generation didn’t allow (again, ownership?)
It might be wishful thinking, but maybe Microsoft and Enjin are experimenting to lay a foundation for player ownership on the next generation Xbox console.
Microsoft is already familiar with blockchain
Don’t think that Microsoft is new to the blockchain space. For example, in November Microsoft, Intel and IBM unveiled a framework for standard blockchain tokens. They’ve called this the Token Taxonomy Framework. At the same time Microsoft’s open-source .NET Foundation is looking at blockchain technology, while the company has another division working on artificial intelligence powered by Ethereum.
Also published on Medium.