Microsoft to develop new projects, to improve the block chain availability

nnnAlthough the financial industry is very active in exploring the chain of business use cases, but so far, the technology still has some of the industry can not accept the drawbacks, such as slow, lack of confidentiality and so on. In order to improve the availability of block chain technology, many technology giants are trying to solve these problems. Recently, Microsoft announced the launch of a new project called “Coco Framework”, hoping to help the block chain to achieve a breakthrough, and some other well-known organizations are also supporting the project and with the cooperation.n
nnTranslated by: Inan
nAs Bitcoin prices are closer to historical highs, people seem to have forgotten how much time and money the financial industry has invested in the underlying technology in the past few years to use this digital currency.n
nBanks and executives of other companies have been trying to take advantage of this basic concept – immutable distributed books, which are shared by multiple parties and do not require intermediaries. Banks believe that this approach can save money, reduce disputes, increase transparency, accelerate contract development and implementation, and achieve better traceability.n
nBut the technology is recognized in this professionally regulated industry and needs to meet many requirements such as security, data privacy, reliability, speed, control, performance and scalability.n
nMany suppliers and organizations (such as IBM, Microsoft, R3, Superbook and Digital Asset Holdings) have been struggling to meet these requirements and have developed distributed bookkeeping technologies that banks use.n
nCompanies that can provide enterprises with distributed books will win the favor of many companies with strong financial resources.n
nMicrosoft on Thursday announced the efforts to improve the distributed book technology. The project is called the Coco framework, which is the name of the confidential consortium, which will be released as an open source project to Github in early 2018.n
n(Microsoft wants to be the leader of this field, although Coco runs a block chain node does not need to run on Microsoft’s Azure, but Microsoft wants Coco to promote its cloud computing business.)n
nAnd, JP Morgan Chase (an early innovator in the field, developed its own chain segment Quorum), Intel, a distributed book group consisting of multiple banks R3 and supply chain company Mojix (owned for retail and supply chain Industry block chain technology) are in support of this project. Microsoft is bringing the public ether square block chain to Quorum, R3’s Corda, super book “serpentine” and the project.n
nAmber Baldet, executive director and block chain project manager at JPMorgan Chase:n
nn”At present, information sharing is the key to supporting the business.We see the opportunity to exchange infrastructure, which not only can quickly share information, but also to ensure that the process is highly secure and improve the trust of the authenticity of information. Block chain and distributed books Can help us achieve that. “n
nnAs for financial services, she said:n
nn”We will be able to transfer value and digital assets across systems, which could revolutionize the way banks and capital markets and all payment systems work in the future.”n
nWait patiently n

nAmber Baldetn
nMorgan Chase’s Amber Baldet said:n
nn”The adoption and transformation of existing industries will not be achieved simply because of the emergence of the technology.”n
nnJP Morgan’s open source block chain project Quorum has its own characteristics in terms of safety, privacy and performance. But in order to enable Quorum to attract as many people as possible, the project is being integrated with Coco. (Although Quorum itself is free open source software, but the bank for its preparation of the application is not the case.Quorum for the organization is more useful, JP Morgan Chase selling software the more opportunities.n
nR3 is also the integration of the distributed books platform Corda and Coco.n
nWhat’s in the Coco framework?n
nThe Coco framework creates a trusted distributed node network, a bit like a digging node for Bitcoin, but does not require power mining. The network uses the RAFT protocol to maintain distributed data storage. Protects communication between “application-node” and “node-node” through transport layer security protocol authentication.n
nThe core of the Coco framework is called the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) by Microsoft, a code based on hardware (such as Intel’s “Software Protection Extensions”) or software (such as Microsoft’s “Virtual Security Mode”) , Data and transactional security containers. A member of the Coco network can run a validation node so that a block-chain instance can be implemented in a protected TEE.n
nThe Coco framework also has a charter that means a complete statement of the network policy: what members are allowed to participate, who is a member of the network, what is the node in the network, and what version of software can be run in the Coco framework. The charter is managed by distributed voting.n
nMicrosoft and its partners are prepared to address several of the drawbacks of the bitcoin block that the customer has noticed.n
nOne of the drawbacks is speed, and more precisely, is slow. The throughput of the Ethernet segment is about 10 to 20 transactions per second. Mark Azinovich, chief technology officer at Microsoft Azure, points out that banks and other large businesses often need to handle thousands of deals per second.n
nAnd the delay (data transmission delay) in the block area of ​​the tower is likely to take tens of seconds or even minutes, which is too long for many companies, and they can not tolerate it. For example, in a transaction, the delay is calculated in milliseconds (thousandths of a second).n
nAccording to Russinovich, the slowness and delay of the ethercomb is caused by a distributed consensus algorithm.n
nRussinovich said:n
nn”The parties do not trust each other, so they need a very decentralized consensus algorithm that requires the parties to prove that they are trustworthy, and in many cases this delay is caused by mining.”n
nnTo improve the speed, the Coco framework abandoned the concept of mining and distributed consensus algorithms.n
nRussinovich said:n
nn”All parties can trust the code in TEE and let TEE protect the confidentiality of code and data, and they can achieve transactional latency and throughput at the center of the database.”n
nnIn the demo, the Microsoft team demonstrated Coco’s ability to perform 1,700 transactions per second.n
nThe second challenge they raised was confidential. For example, banks do not want peers to be able to see all the payments they have made in the shared books.n
nRussinovich points out:n
nn”In today’s block chain system, it is very difficult to provide this kind of confidentiality, and people have to use a very complex encryption system to try to hide the content behind the transaction.”n
nnHe said, TEE provides a very good confidentiality.n
nRussinovich said:n
nn”The content that runs inside TEE is invisible to anyone, so once you put the code and data in the system into the system, the confidentiality can be achieved through access control, such as who has permission to view Cracked data. “n
nnn”In this way, the members of the bank alliance can not see the other side of the transaction, but the auditors can see the custody of the bank transactions.n
nnRussinovich said:n
nn”In short, the outside world can not see the internal situation, only the code and data can be seen with the party.n
nnMembers join the way the enterprise is faced with the third problem that the chain chain technology is hesitant. Anyone can use public books.n
nThe Coco framework uses TEE’s code to manage the network, including voting for new members.n

nMicrosoft Coco Framework Illustration (Figure from GitHub)n
nRussinovich said:n
nn”If someone suggests a new member to join, then a direct block chain vote can be carried out. These votes appear in the form of a transaction and the addition of a new member is added to the network as a transaction. Members can join. “n
nnAccording to Rick Echevarria, vice president and general manager of platform security at Intel Software and Services, Coco provides the key advantage of trust.n
nEchevarria said:n
nn”Most people regard the pure efficiency of this model as the basis for the business case of the block chain, but in order to achieve this, you have to build trust, and many people in the industry agree that the block chain is equivalent to the trust agreement. To achieve trust? The answer is to manage the data and ensure confidentiality.n
nnBaldet of JP Morgan Chase admitted that the financial services industry had some ways to use it before it was ready to use the chain.n
nshe says:n
nn”The adoption and transformation of existing industries will not be achieved simply because of the emergence of the technology.We spend more time thinking about what the market is transforming in. When the technology goes into production, we first see the possible Is the existing market model using this new technology to improve efficiency. “n
nnShe said that after a long period of time, it would lead to a real transformation and develop new products.n
nShe pointed out:n
nn”These changes are relatively slow in industries where financial or health care is tightly regulated, and we can build samples and prototypes, but only to win the favor of the industry, but also with regulators, lawyers and peers on the market We have reached a consensus, and it will take time. “n
nnJP Morgan’s Quorum is a licensed version of the ethertop, which can perform private intelligence contracts and has a software space and a key distribution system.n
nJP Morgan has been running an interbank payment settlement system based on Quorum since November. The pilot runs with the bank’s existing production system to ensure that Quorum matches its performance. Baldet said that so far, Quorum has also been used for other trials, such as capital market applications.n
nBaldet said that some companies need Coco can provide more security.n
nn”Depending on the use case, Coco can provide strong support if the amount paid is large and you want to ensure that your security is above average, or if you want to improve performance while ensuring higher security.”n

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