Cloud computing giant Microsoft is taking steps to improve the stability of its cloud services. To this end, the company has introduced new restrictions on activities such as cryptocurrency mining.
Microsoft has quietly banned crypto mining from its online services to better protect its customers and clouds, UK newspaper The Register reported on Dec. 15.
The company introduced these new restrictions as part of its Universal License Terms for Microsoft Online Services. Microsoft updated its Acceptable Use Policy on December 1, stating that “cryptocurrency mining without Microsoft’s prior approval is prohibited.”
In the acceptable use section, Microsoft states that the company now requires users to obtain prior written permission from the company in order to use any of Microsoft’s online crypto mining services.
Microsoft said its new cryptomining restrictions are designed to protect online services against risks such as cyber fraud, attacks, and unauthorized access to customer resources:
“We made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of disruption or degradation of services in the Microsoft cloud.”
The business may also consider obtaining a crypto-mining license for security-related testing and research purposes.
Microsoft has yet to respond to a request for comment from Cointelegraph.
With Microsoft Online Services, the tech giant offers hosted software. This is part of the company’s Software-as-a-Service strategy. These services include the Azure cloud network, which also offers cryptocurrency mining in some subscriptions. Microsoft has also experimented with blockchain services on Azure as part of the Azure Blockchain Service project. However, this was quietly discontinued in September last year.
Microsoft’s cloud computing systems have reportedly had significant capacity bottlenecks in recent years due to supply chain constraints. More than half a dozen Azure data centers are expected to be in limited operation by early 2023.
With these new restrictions, Microsoft is following the lead of many other cloud computing providers, including Google, which also prohibits its customers from mining cryptocurrencies without Google’s prior written approval. Other platforms like Oracle have outright banned cloud mining, while Digital Ocean also requires written permission.
Cloud mining is an alternative way to invest in cryptocurrencies. Users can thus mine digital coins without having any mining equipment or hardware by using a remote data center with shared processing power. According to research group Blockchain Council, cloud mining is one of the most cost-effective ways to mine cryptocurrencies because customers don’t have to purchase equipment and avoid the costs involved.
The crypto-mining industry is currently going through a major crisis. This is related to the current crypto winter, which has left some miners on the brink of bankruptcy due to a lack of funds.