Microsoft Developing New Open-Source Blockchain Technology

Microsoft Developing New Open-Source Blockchain Technology

Microsoft Corp. today announced it is developing a new system called the Coco Framework, which seeks to address some of the current limitations of enterprise blockchain, including speed and privacy issues.

At a press conference Wednesday, Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich said Coco, whose names stands for Confidential Consortium, will be ready and made open source by 2018.

The company staged a live demonstration at its New York technology center, which showed Coco processing 1,600 transactions per second. To put that into context, global payments technology company Visa can handle up to 24,000 transactions per second.

“Blockchain is a transformational technology with the ability to significantly reduce the friction of doing business,” said Russinovich, chief technology officer of Azure at Microsoft. “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."

Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology that is used for the management of financial transactions. It facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without the use of intermediaries such as banks and governing bodies.

The technology is at a nascent stage but has gained popularity in a very short period. Leading financial services firms, IT companies, and manufacturing firms are already testing the feasibility to implement BT on a real-time basis. The latest market research forecasts growth at a CAGR of 55.59% during the period 2017-2021.

Microsoft said the new technology would make it easier for firms to control who can see what on a network without affected the system’s speed. The Coco Framework is being built with hardware from fellow multinational tech giant Intel Corp.

We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to bring blockchain to the enterprise,” said Rick Echevarria, vice president, Software and Services Group and General Manager, Platforms Security Division at Intel. “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.”

Microsoft hopes that the new technology will lead to more new users of its cloud services.

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