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Microsoft takes a step closer to bringing blockchain to the enterprise

Samira Sarraf | Aug. 14, 2017
Announces new framework set to reduce the complexity of blockchain development.


Credit: Shutterstock 

Microsoft has announced a new framework, Coco Framework, to make blockchain ready for business.

"Coco achieves this by designing specifically for confidential consortiums, where nodes and actors are explicitly declared and controlled," Microsoft CTO, Mark Russinovich, wrote in a blog.

"Based on these requirements, Coco presents an alternative approach to ledger construction, giving enterprises the scalability, distributed governance and enhanced confidentiality they need without sacrificing the inherent security and immutability they expect," he wrote.

The Coco Framework is planned to be launched on GitHub in 2018 as an open source project. Microsoft wants to work with customers, partners, blockchain technical and business communities to advance foundational blockchain technology.

Microsoft said the Coco Framework will reduce the complexity of blockchain developing techniques and will address critical needs for commercial adoption like high-transaction speed, distributed governance and confidentiality.

Microsoft's Coco Framework, when integrated with a blockchain network will see transaction speeds of more than 1,600 transactions per second according to the vendor.

The upcoming framework is also promised to easily manage data confidentiality without sacrificing performance and to establish a network constitution allowing members to vote on all terms and conditions governing the consortium and the blockchain software system.

"Blockchain is a transformational technology with the ability to significantly reduce the friction of doing business," said Russinovich.

"Microsoft is committed to bringing blockchain to the enterprise. We have listened to the needs of our customers and the blockchain community and are bringing foundational functionality with the Coco Framework," Russinovich said. 

"Through an innovative combination of advanced algorithms and trusted execution environments (TEEs), like Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX) or Windows Virtual Secure Mode (VSM), we believe this takes the next step toward making blockchain ready for business," he said.

The Coco Framework by design will be compatible with any ledger protocol and can operate in the cloud and on premises, on any operating system and hypervisor that supports a compatible TEE. Initial Coco Framework implementations will include R3 Corda, Intel Hyperledger Sawtooth, J.P. Morgan Quorum, and Ethereum.

"We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to bring blockchain to the enterprise," said Intel vice president, software and services group and general manager, platforms security division, Rick Echevarria.

"Our mutual customers are excited by the potential of blockchain. Intel is committed to accelerating the value of blockchains powered by Azure on Intel hardware, by improving the scalability, privacy and security of the solutions based on our technologies."

 

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