Microsoft reveals Coco Framework Azure cloud-based blockchain service

The enterprise-grade blockchain service is supported by Intel hardware and software

Microsoft has unveiled a cloud-based blockchain service targeted at businesses and designed to handle more than 1,600 transactions per second.

Redmond claims the speed of its Coco Framework is a world first and is far faster than other blockchain networks currently available.

The service sits on Microsoft's Azure cloud, allowing it to tap into the significant global cloud infrastructure the company has, alongside benefitting from the security and performance features the platform offers.

However, the Coco Framework can also be deployed on-premise and can be used with any operating system and hypervisor that supports a compatible trusted execution environment, signalling Microsoft's intent to inject a high level of flexibility in how businesses across a variety of sectors use its blockchain service.

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To this end, Microsoft will also launch the Coco Framework on the GitHub open source library in 2018, allowing more customers, partners and technical communities to work with its blockchain technology. This will also help Microsoft receive feedback on improvements to its Coco Framework as well as expand the scope on how the blockchain service is deployed.

Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer at Microsoft's Azure division, championed the Coco Framework as the means to "making blockchain ready for business".

A big part of this will involves a partnership with Intel, whereby the chipmaker hardware and software will underpin the Coco Framework, notably providing server hardware that provides the robust cyber security required for creating a trusted execution environment needed for the use of blockchain-based record and distributed ledger systems.

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," explained Rick Echevarria, vice president of Intel's software and services group.

The overall goal of the Coco Framework and the partnership with Intel is to make the adoption of blockchain technologies and record systems easier for enterprises, particularity those with a wealth of data that needs to be easily accessed on a wide-spread scale yet also kept secure and up-to-date.

While the adoption of blockchain is still in its infancy, more major companies, like IBM, are working on the technology, which was originally created as a method of tracking Bitcoin transactions.

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