Microsoft has quietly updated the license terms for its online services such that customer can no longer “mine cryptocurrency without Microsoft’s prior written approval.”  

As The Register first reported, the update to the Universal License Terms for Online Services became effective on 1 December 2022.

The Acceptable Use Policy states:

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.

Source: Microsoft

Apparently, Microsoft told The Register that it had made this change because “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.” It went on to say:

We made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of disrupting or impairing services in the Microsoft Cloud.

However, it appears that it might be possible to get permission for crypto mining for “Testing and Research for security detections.”

According to a report by Cointelegraph, Microsoft Online Services, which includes Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing network, offers crypto mining for certain subscriptions. The report the notes the company previously experimented with blockchain services on Azure, but terminated the feature in September 2021. 

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