Microsoft has announced that it has released the Confidential Consortium (Coco) Framework, which is an Ethereum based protocol, which allows commercial companies and other large-scale organisations to process information on the Ethereum Blockchain with increased privacy. This huge move from Microsoft is almost guaranteed to cryptocurrency Ethereum a huge vote of confidence.
The $561billion technology company, released an official announcement, where it gave insight into the decision and stated that; “Coco presents an alternative approach to ledger construction, giving enterprises the scalability, distributed governance and enhanced confidentiality they need without sacrificing the inherent security and immutability they expect”. To put it simply, the goal of this framework to make using blockchain technology easier for businesses. Traditional blockchains are designed to be transparent, which in turn creates many problems when it comes to confidentiality and scalability. The Coco framework will help to solve these issues by coupling this blockchain technology, with established security protocols and architectures as a marriage of both form and function.
One aspect of the Coco Framework that makes it really unique is that it controls local hardware-based environments, such as Intel’s trusted execution environments (TEEs), in order to enable the settlement of information in an off-chain Ethereum Blockchain ecosystem. Having a completely separate ecosystem that processes data, it allows Microsoft to provide a more functional and flexible infrastructure for decentralised applications. A similar solution has been proposed before by Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer to influence Intel’s TEE in order to settle Bitcoin transactions.
Although the Coco framework that has been proposed by Microsoft is similar, it uses smart contracts and the Ethereum protocol to focus on processing the information. In order to process large amounts of information from commercial organisations, it has been noted that Ethereum actually needs and benefits from off-chain infrastructures, just like the Coco Framework, as it helps to expand the flexibility of the existing Ethereum protocol in order to host decentralised applications for efficiently. This has already helped businesses run code a lot quicker, and Tom Racette, who is the vice president at Mojix has said that “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.”.
It has been reported in the past that Ethereum needs off-chain scaling solutions, and this is exactly what Microsoft’s Coco framework sets out to do. It will have the ability to process large amounts of data without running into any security issues, thanks to the off-chain solutions – something that Ethereum needs.
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