Crypto miners can no longer use Microsoft Online Service to mine crypto without special permission from Microsoft.
Microsoft, an American multinational technology corporation producing computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services, has banned crypto mining on its Online Services.
According to the news report shared by The Register, the company’s decision was driven by the aim to protect customers and “mitigate the risk of disrupting or impairing services in the Microsoft Cloud."
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When asked about the situation, Microsoft’s spokesperson told The Register:
Crypto currency mining can cause disruption or even impairment to Online Services and its users and can often be linked to cyber fraud and abuse attacks such as unauthorized access to and use of customer resources.
However, Microsoft’s move to ban crypto mining was relatively quiet and secretive. The company mentioned changes briefly on its revised Universal License Terms for Online Services that came into effect on December 1st.
In the Summary of Changes, the company noted that it “updated the Acceptable Use Policy to clarify that mining cryptocurrency is prohibited without prior Microsoft approval.”
Moreover, Microsoft emphasized that “neither Customer nor those that access an Online Service through Customer” can participate in crypto mining without Microsoft’s approval.
Despite being relatively vague in other documents, Microsoft revealed more information in the message to “important action partners.” The software giant stated:
The Acceptable Use Policy has been updated to explicitly prohibit mining for cryptocurrencies across all Microsoft Online Services <...>. We suggest seeking written pre-approval from Microsoft before using Microsoft Online Services for mining cryptocurrencies, regardless of the term of a subscription.
Later on, Microsoft revealed that it considers making exceptions for those who want to mine crypto for testing or research purposes.
Prior to the changes, Microsoft used to allow crypto mining for members of certain subscription types through its Azure cloud computing network.
It is worth noting that Microsoft is not the first cloud computing provider to ban crypto mining. At the beginning of November, Google announced that companies must receive Google’s written approval before starting to mine, with Digital Ocean following the same example. On the other hand, Oracle has completely banned cloud mining.