Microsoft tries to increase the stability and safety of its cloud services by imposing new restrictions on activities like cryptocurrency mining
Microsoft has introduced new restrictions on cryptocurrency mining as part of its universal license terms of Microsoft Online Services. In particular, the new use policy states that “mining cryptocurrency is prohibited without prior Microsoft approval”.
The approval must be obtained in a written form in order to use any of Microsoft Online Services for crypto mining. The changes in the policies would reportedly allow Microsoft to mitigate risks of cyber fraud, service disruptions and unauthorised access.
At the same time, the firm might allow crypto mining activities as long as they cater for testing and research purposes, e.g. aimed at security detections.
Although cryptocurrency mining was never a primary use case for Microsoft cloud services, some Azure subscription types haven’t previously explicitly banned the activity. Therefore, some users may have experimented with crypto mining on the cloud computing network.
Cloud mining is an alternative to investing in expensive mining equipment, as users rely on a remote data centre with shared processing power. Being one of the most profitable ways to mine crypto for consumers, such activity has few, if any, benefits for the cloud service owners.
Therefore, large cloud service providers like Google, Oracle and Digital Ocean have either fully prohibited cryptocurrency mining on their platforms or require written permission to do so. At the same time, there are dozens of dedicated services that are specifically aimed at cloud mining.