Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. These cryptocurrencies use Blockchain to implement a secure, write-once-read-many transaction ledger. However, there are many benefits of Blockchain that can be realized for Enterprise and other uses. Although, the downside is that so far it’s been a bit difficult to implement Blockchain into a custom solution. For this reason Microsoft is building out the Coco Framework in an effort to make it easier to implement Blockchain technology for Enterprise solutions.

What is the Coco Framework?

The Coco Framework is NOT a blockchain ledger itself. Rather, Coco is a Blockchain ledger framework that leverages a combination of trusted execution environments, advanced cryptography and innovative blockchain-focused consensus mechanisms to open up new blockchain enabled scenarios across industries.

Here’s a short video from Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, where he describes what Coco Framework is and what it’s for:

To get the primary information from the video more easily, here’s a summary of the topics and points Mark makes in the above video:

What enterprises need from blockchain…

There are a few issues Enterprises have with being able to use a public Blockchain ledger for their own needs. Because of this, the Enterprise will need to implement their own Blockchain ledgers.

Here’s a list of some of the “traditional” Blockchain issues that Coco Framework is built to address and solve:

  • Throughput and latency – The overall throughput and latency of transaction validation within Blockchain has traditionally been a bit slow. Coco Framework addresses this and enables Blockchain to approach database speeds.
  • Confidentiality – Confidentiality is more of an issue and concern for Enterprises than it likely is with a public Blockchain ledger. For this reason Coco Framework offers Richer, more flexible, business-specific confidentiality models to be used.
  • Distributed Governance – A core fundamental of Blockchain is its Distributed nature. However, with a private Blockchain there needs to be adequate controls over this distribution. Coco Framework addresses this with Network policy management through distributed governance.
  • Non-Deterministic Transactions – To enhance the capabilities of Blockchain, Coco Framework extends support for non-deterministic transactions to be used within the system.

With the addition of the above mentioned capabilities, Coco Framework offers a trusted foundation when integrating existing Blockchain protocols to deliver enterprise-ready ledger solutions. Coco enables complete solutions to be delivered that open up broad, high scale scenarios across many different industries.

Coco Will be Open Source

Currently, (at the time of writing this) Microsoft has not yet publicly released the Coco Framework. However, Microsoft is planning to release the Coco Framework to Open Source in early 2018. Along with their open approach to Blockchain, Coco will be compatible with any Blockchain ledger protocol, and will be able to operate in the cloud as well as on-premises.

Happy Blockchaining!

 

 

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a trainer, and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

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