Microsoft Azure has just released a Blockchain-as-a-Service product that uses Ethereum to support blockchain with a set of templates to deploy and configure your choice of blockchain network. This can be done with minimal Azure and blockchain knowledge.
The conventional blockchain in the open is based on Proof-of-Work (PoW) and requires mining as the parties do not trust each other. An enterprise blockchain does not require PoW but is based on Proof-of-Authority (PoA) where approved identities or validators on a blockchain, validate the transactions on the blockchain.
The PoA product features a decentralized application (DApp) called the Governance DApp. Blockchains in this new model can be deployed in 5-45 minutes depending on the size and complexity of the network.
The PoA network comes with security features such as identity leasing system to ensure no two nodes carry the same identity. There are also other features to achieve good performance.
- Web assembly smart contracts: Solidity is cited as one of the pain areas when developing smart contracts on Ethereum. This feature allows developers to use familiar languages such as C, C++, and Rust.
- Azure Monitor: Used to track node and network statistics. Developers can view the underlying blockchain to track statistics while the network admins can detect and prevent network outages.
- Extensible governance: With this feature, customers can participate in a consortium without managing the network infrastructure. It can be optionally delegated to an operator of their choosing.
- Governance DApp: Provides a decentralized governance in which network authority changes are administered via on-chain voting done by select administrators. It also contains validator delegation for authorities to manage their validator nodes that are set up in each PoA deployment. Users can audit change history, each change is recorded, providing transparency and auditability.
Source: Microsoft Blog
Along with these features, the Governance DApp will also ensure each consortium member has control over their own keys. This enables secure signing on a wallet chosen by the user.
The blog mentions “In the case of a VM or regional outage, new nodes can quickly spin up and resume the previous nodes’ identities.”
To know more visit the official Microsoft Blog.