“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,” reads the update. “We suggest seeking written pre-approval from Microsoft before using Microsoft Online Services for mining cryptocurrencies, regardless of the term of a subscription.”
Even though there wasn’t any explanation provided on the updated policy page, the tech giant said to TheRegister that the changes were made to protect its customers and mitigate the risks of disrupting Microsoft Cloud.
“Cryptocurrency 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,” Microsoft further added.
The report also noted that permission to mine crypto might be considered for testing and research purposes.
Microsoft had already barred crypto mining for student accounts. The service was only offered on certain plans on its Azure cloud computing network.
The company had earlier experimented with web3 services by launching Azure Blockchain Service in partnership with ConsenSys in 2015.
Large organizations such as JP Morgan, Starbucks, GE Aviation, and Singapore Airlines were among the clientele, but Azure Blockchain Service was turned off in September this year without an official explanation.
Microsoft isn’t the first cloud provider to ban crypto mining. Google Cloud has a similar sort of policy that restricted crypto mining without prior written approval. Explaining the policy, Google has said that 86% of the crypto mining accounts were compromised.
Also, Amazon Web Services doesn’t allow crypto mining on its 12-month free trial but offers it to higher-tier customers.