Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd. and an ICO Project Begin Joint Venture!?

It was announced that Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd. is cooperating with SKILL Co., Ltd. in implementing an ICO.

Cooperation overview of Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.

Microsoft Japan announced cooperation with the Japanese ICO project “SKILL Project” aiming to objectively prove the skills and job history of individuals through blockchain technology attempting to solve the human talent mismatching problem. They are pursuing the development of products to be offered with this project and it seems they have started demonstrating experiments through business alliances with personnel related companies who agree with this project in order to verify the core functions of the product

Aim for a consortium on a human resource skills platform

Based on the idea that personnel skills and work history information are individual assets, it seems that it is desirable to manage this information on a distributed scale by a decentralized authority. On top of that, it aims to be a consortium model that allows multiple companies to share information on the blockchain, not just one company. However, instead of using a public chain, it appears to offer its services on a private chain by the approval process based on the nodes of PoA (Proof-of-Authority) using the Azure network on cloud servers provided by Microsoft Japan. As Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and Akamai Technologies’ new blockchain was introduced in a previous article “Mega Banks will Also Start Own Blockchain Settlement Networks in 2019,” along with the new CDN network based blockchain of Akamai Technology, Microsoft Japan appears to be using same principles and approval process.

Endorsement comments from Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.

“Japan Microsoft Co., Ltd. welcomes SKILL’s blockchain business cooperation and collaboration verification using Microsoft Azure at heart. By using Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) technology such as “Ethereum Proof-of- Authority on Azure” provided by Microsoft Azure, it is possible to easily and quickly build global and reliable platforms and launch necessary functions for blockchain projects. They hope that collaborating with SKILL Co., Ltd., who endorses new challenges and possibilities for blockchain businesses, will contribute to the development of the consortium chain leading to further dissemination and development of blockchain technology.”

The above information was provided by:
Satoshi Asano, General Manager, Cloud & Enterprise Business Division, Executive Officer, Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.

Is there a problem from a legal point of view?

This announcement seems quite possible when looking at collaboration between Microsoft and venture companies. On the other hand, anxiety builds regarding the legal interpretation of Microsoft Corporation cooperating with ICO projects of Japanese corporations. Companies that conduct ICOs obviously have a reason to collaborate with Microsoft and they should not hesitate to join as there are many companies using the platform that are able to participate. To be honest, there should be no worries about Microsoft Japan investing in this project.