Microsoft launches Coco Framework – Blockchain for the Enterprise

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Microsoft Coco Framework

The US-based technology giant, Microsoft, announced the launch of a blockchain based framework, called Coco Framework. The framework is an open-source system that facilitates high-scale, secure blockchain networks to target all major requirements of commercial companies. The Coco Framework aims to speed up the use of blockchains in enterprises.

Introduction

The Coco Framework started as a collaboration between Azure and Microsoft Research. Along the way, many customers and Microsoft partners contributed to its formation. The framework will be released on Github in 2018 and will be available on Windows and Linux, both on-premise and in the cloud. Companies such as J.P. Morgan, Intel and R3 have already agreed to integrate Coco framework. Find below the video from Mark Russinovich, the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Azure, announcing the launch of the Coco Framework:

As enterprises are considering the use of blockchain technology in their daily business, they have identified some shortcomings. These include performance, confidentiality, governance, and required processing power. Blockchain technology was originally designed to achieve consensus in public scenarios. As such, everyone on the blockchain can see all transactions that are posted. Additionally, since every node in the blockchain network has to execute every transaction, it increases the load and processing required. These requirements are a must for a public blockchain, but when it comes to an enterprises some changes are needed. The transparency require tradeoffs in terms of key enterprise requirements such as scalability and confidentiality.

The Coco Framework tries to address these requirements.

A unique feature of the Coco Framework is that it leverages local hardware such as Intel’s trusted execution environments (TEEs) and Windows Virtual Secure Mode (VSM), to transfer information over the blockchain. This helps the framework deliver on its goals:

  1. Faster throughput and latency.
  2. Confidentialy models that are more flexible and based on business needs.
  3. Using distributed governance to manage network policies.
  4. Support for non-deterministic transactions.

The framework is not meant to be a standalone blockchain, but rather a foundation for other blockchain technologies such as Ethereum, Quorum, Corda, etc. to be integrated.

Microsoft launches Coco Framework
Logical Architecture of Coco Framework

Microsoft has a vision for the Coco Framework to be used across a variety of industries, including retail, supply chain and financial services. You can read more about this block-chain based framework in the technical white paper https://github.com/Azure/coco-framework/blob/master/docs/Coco%20Framework%20whitepaper.pdf.

So what do you think of the Coco Framework, launched by Microsoft?

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