Why Microsoft Banned Crypto Mining For Its Online Services


According to The Register’s report, big tech giant Microsoft banned crypto mining from its “Azure” cloud services. The company updated its Universal License Terms for Online Services, issued in early December, to include the new policy. 

From now on, Azure customers will need to ask for Microsoft’s permission before using its services for crypto mining. The company claims the measure will protect users from risks and activities related to the sector. The new Microsoft policy reads the following, according to the report:

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Updated Acceptable Use Policy to clarify that mining cryptocurrency is prohibited without prior Microsoft approval. Neither Customer, nor those that access an Online Service through Customer, may use an Online Service: to mine cryptocurrency without Microsoft’s prior written approval.

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Microsoft Joins Others In Banning Cloud Crypto Mining

The company provided little details regarding its new policy against crypto mining. Customers were informed via an updated use policy, as mentioned above, the Summary of Changes page, and a document sent to its partners. 

Microsoft pushed the policy to “secure” its cloud ecosystem. The company claims crypto mining can “disrupt” or “impair” its Online Services. Furthermore, the company believes crypto users can “often be linked to cyber fraud and abuse attacks.” 

Government officials and regulators often use this argument to dismiss the nascent sector as illegitimate and classify its activities as criminal. In addition, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Digital Ocean, and OVH banned crypto mining from their cloud services in some capacity. 

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The company stated the following regarding its policy: 

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 may be considered for Testing and Research for security detections.

Crypto Winter Impacts Cloud Crypto Mining

Unlike Microsoft, Google and other tech giants banned crypto mining from cloud services a while ago. Thus, The Register speculates that the change in their policy is related to the downside trend in digital assets. 

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Since late 2021, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have lost over 80% of their value. The negative trend impacted the mining industry. 

Bitcoin miners have had to auction a large portion of their BTC supply to maintain their operations. Therefore, the report noted, “Microsoft might be worried that miners would not pay their cloud bills.”

The report speculates that Azure, the company’s cloud services, could be facing capacity shortages. Thus, the company could reduce demand by cutting off the crypto-mining sector. 

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Author: Reynaldo Marquez

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