Microsoft restricts unapproved cryptocurrency mining on online services

This month, Microsoft amended its service rules to prevent crypto mining without express permission.

Microsoft changed its policy terms to stipulate that bitcoin mining is not permitted on its online services without prior authorization.

The upgrade became effective on December 1 and applies to all users, including paying Microsoft customers. The Register reported the change first.

The upgrade forbids mining — the process of validating and adding transaction records to proof-of-work blockchains — on Microsoft’s internet services, namely Azure.

The new “acceptable usage policy” section of Microsoft’s universal licensing conditions states: “Neither Customer nor others who access an Online Service via Customer may use an Online Service… to mine cryptocurrencies without Microsoft’s prior written consent.”

In an article shared with Azure customers, the upgrade was cited as one of many measures taken to “protect the partner ecosystem,” referring to the partner businesses that help to onboard software clients to Azure’s cloud services. Microsoft provided no other explanation in the article.

The move aligns Microsoft with other industry titans, such as Google, which restricts unapproved cryptocurrency mining on its cloud platform. Amazon Web Services likewise prohibits mining on its free tier.

Also Read: Bitcoin Hash Rate Increases As Ethereum Miners Switch To Bitcoin Mining After Merge