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Microsoft unveils Coco Framework, aimed at boosting blockchain

Microsoft unveils Coco Framework, aimed at boosting blockchain

The blockchain service is set to be named the Coco Framework and will incorporate Intel architecture extensions that are meant to enhance security, while improving transaction speeds and scaling.

As part of this collaboration, Microsoft, Intel and other blockchain technology leaders will build a new enterprise-targeted blockchain framework - called the Coco Framework - that integrates Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) to deliver improved transaction speed, scale and data confidentiality to enterprises. "We think blockchain is going to potentially transform every industry".

"Existing systems were created to function-and to achieve consensus-in public scenarios amongst anonymous, untrusted actors with maximum transparency", said Russinovich in an Azure post on Thursday.

Existing blockchain protocols also employ computationally intensive consensus algorithms, leading to poor scalability, with performance as slow as 10 to 20 transactions per second. These safeguards, while necessary to ensure the integrity of public blockchain networks, require tradeoffs in terms of key enterprise requirements such as scalability and confidentiality. This first-of-its-kind innovation accelerates the enterprise readiness of blockchain technology, allowing developers to create flexible and more secure enterprise blockchain applications that can be easily managed by businesses.

Coco achieves this by designing specifically for confidential consortiums, where nodes and actors are explicitly declared and controlled. The issues include mainly throughput, latency, governance and confidentiality.

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Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer for Microsoft Azure, did the introductions in the video and he provided the quick-stick explanation of what this is all about: "The foundation of blockchain for business". When integrated with blockchain networks, the Coco Framework - in this case, a member network - addresses the needs for commercial adoption to increase speeds and improve secure transactions. “Our mutual customers are excited by the potential of blockchain.

The company already has some big names lined up to adopt the Coco Framework: J.P. Morgan Quorum, R3 Corda, Intel Hyperledger Sawtooth, and Ethereum are all slated to implement it when it becomes available.

Other features Coco enables is governance and compatibility.

"To start with a general framework is a step in the right direction for the advertising industry", said Ken Brook, CEO at MetaX, which is building out technology to run on top of the Ethereum blockchain specific for digital advertising. By using that shared trust, it's possible to bypass transaction verification operations like those required by the current open source version of Ethereum.

Russinovich wrote in his post that, "while it will still take time for blockchain to achieve enterprise assurance, we remain laser focused on accelerating its development and enterprise adoption in partnership with the community".


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