September 20, 2017

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Microsoft's Coco To Speed Up Blockchains for Enterprise



Microsoft, a company familiar with the cryptocurrency scene, announced on August 10 a new technology looking to speed up blockchain-based systems and make them more private at the same time on the enterprise level.

Blockchains have always been very good at maintaining data integrity due to every participant in a network having their own copy of the ledger to verify all transactions, but this made it difficult for large businesses with strict privacy requirements to adopt the technology.

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The system is called Coco Framework, which stands for Confidential Consortium. Coco will be made ready and open source by 2018 Microsoft is claiming. Coco would make it to where companies could control who was able to see what was on the network, without slowing it down.

Microsoft is planning to offer Coco for free, in hopes that customers of the framework will use their cloud services as well.

Coco connects various blockchain networks in order to resolve some of the problems hindering its adoption, such as the aforementioned speed and privacy concerns. In addressing these two problems, Microsoft hopes that Coco will enable more enterprises to consider using the blockchain-based software.

“We expect this to be the foundation for blockchain for enterprise,” Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer of Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing division, said at a press briefing. “We think blockchain is going to potentially transform every industry.”

According to Tom Racette, Vice President, Global Retail Business Development at Mojix, Coco is already being tested across a range of industries:

“Being able to run our existing supply chain Dapp code much faster within Coco framework is a great performance improvement that will reduce friction when we talk about enterprise Blockchain readiness with our retail customers. Adding data confidentiality support without sacrificing this improvement is what will enable us to lead the digital transformation we are envisioning with Smart Supply Chains.”

Currently compatible with Ethereum, whose cryptocurrency has skyrocketed to position number two in terms of market capitalization and a trading price above $300, Microsoft says Coco can make the already speedy Ethereum 100 times faster.

Coco is being built in partnership with Intel’s hardware, to be compatible with all types of blockchains. While Microsoft hopes businesses from all over adopt Coco, planned adopters include Corda, the blockchain of R3, Intel/Hyperledger blockchain Sawtooth, as well as JPMorgan Chase’s Quorum. Further details about the Coco framework can be found in the technical whitepaper.



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