Microsoft today introduced GITEX Technology Week 2017 delegates to the company’s open, hyper-compatible Coco Framework for enterprise blockchain networks.

Blockchain analysis features heavily on the agenda of the 37th GITEX Technology Week, with experts from across the globe on hand to advise regional organisations on its potential for securing audit trails. Microsoft’s announcement follows its commitment in July this year to the Dubai Future Foundation’s Global Blockchain Council.

Starting life as a means tobuild credible and secure audit trails for the digital currency bitcoin, blockchain has become popular among organisations looking to maintain trustworthy transaction records. Blockchain architecture distributes data on asset ownership and critical transactions across trust boundaries, so that no one site holds the information exclusively. Such transparency is vital in protecting trust-centric data flows, such as those of financial institutions.

“Investment in blockchain, across the GCC and beyond, is reaching fever pitch, as organisations recognise it as a digitally transformative tool, so we felt that GITEX 2017 was the perfect venue for introducing Coco to the region,” Said Necip Ozyucel, Cloud & Enterprise Business Solutions Lead, Microsoft Gulf. “Microsoft joined the Global Blockchain Council because we believe strongly in the security of the technology’s auditing capabilities. But blockchain can achieve so much more for enterprises of all scales and walks of life. It allows them to share business processes with suppliers, customers and partners, leading to new opportunities for multi-party collaboration and, eventually, exciting new business models.”

Troublesome trade-offs

At the launch of the Global Blockchain Council in July, the Dubai Future Foundation cited studies that predict the global market for digital transactions will reach $9.5 billion by 2021. During the same period, worldwide investments in blockchain technology are expected to surpass $300 billion.

As more and more blockchain protocols have emerged, enterprises have noticed that many fall short on critical compliance requirements, such as performance, confidentiality and governance. While public blockchain networks require trade-offs between, for example, confidentiality and performance, the Coco Framework eliminates these trade-offs by catering specifically to confidential consortiums, where participants in the blockchain network are explicitly declared.

Based in the intelligent Azure cloud, Coco enables high-scale, confidential networks that meet all key enterprise requirements, providing a means to accelerate the digital transformation potential of blockchain technology.

Platform potential

Coco uses existing blockchain protocols, trusted execution environments (TEEs) such as Intel SGX and Windows Virtual Secure Mode (VSM), distributed systems and cryptography, to deliver a platform for enterprise-ready ledger solutions. The framework’s capabilities include database-level throughput and latency; richer, more flexible, business-specific confidentiality models; network policy management through distributed governance; and support for non-deterministic transactions.

Coco is open, and compatible with any blockchain protocol. Microsoft has already begun to integrate the open-source Ethereum into the framework, as well as J.P. Morgan Chase’s Quorum, IBM’s Hyperledger Sawtooth and R3’s Corda, with other ledgers to follow in the coming months.

“Our mission at Microsoft is to help every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” said Ozyucel.“GITEX has always been a platform for airing the current issues facing technology professionals in the region and beyond. In 2017, blockchain is front and centre among those concerns. We believe Coco will benefit greatly from its open-source philosophy, as GCC organisations will benefit greatly from adoption of blockchain.”


About Microsoft Gulf

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft Gulf opened its Dubai-based headquarters in 1991. Today, the Gulf office oversees Microsoft Gulf activities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and UAE.


Source: ProGlobal Media