Tech giant Microsoft has quietly banned the use of its cloud service, Azure, for crypto-currency mining. Previously, it was possible to mine crypto-currencies on Microsoft Azure unless you were using a student account. With the new update, using Microsoft’s online service to mine crypto-currencies without prior written permission is now prohibited.
Microsoft introduced the policy update as part of measures to make its cloud services more stable, secure the ecosystem and protect its customers. According to reports, Microsoft’s data centers have experienced several capacity shortages recently due to overload.
According to the company, “we made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of disruption or corruption of services in the Microsoft cloud.“
Following an update on December 1, users who wish to use Microsoft’s online services for crypto-currency mining must now request and obtain approval before doing so. At the same time, the company said it may grant approval to users who want to mine crypto-currencies for research and testing purposes.
Cloud services say no to crypto-currency mining
Microsoft isn’t the only technology company offering cloud services to ban crypto-currency mining on its servers in some form. Google announced a similar policy earlier after malicious actors used its services to mine crypto-currencies. Google has also added an anti-malware service to its cloud services.
Similarly, Digital Ocean requires written permission for crypto-currency mining on its platform. Oracle and OVH also prohibit crypto-currency mining on their platforms. As for Amazon Web Services, crypto-currency mining is not available in its free version.
What are the next steps for crypto-currency miners?
According to the Blockchain Council, cloud mining offers crypto-currency miners an alternative way to stay profitable. By eliminating the need for mining platforms and reducing costs, miners can make the most of an already bad situation.
The year 2022 pushed many bitcoin miners out of business. Increased energy costs and debt burdens among miners were inevitable. The largest U.S. mining company, Core Scientific (CORE), was also affected. After losing $1.7 billion in 2022, CORE sold all of its bitcoin holdings as it struggled to stay afloat. Eventually, the company filed a Form 8-K with the SEC.
Cloud mining may be the only option for miners hoping to stay in business.