Microsoft unveils Coco: blockchain protocol technology

Microsoft launches Coco Framework - a blockchain protocol technology 
11 August

Microsoft, an American multinational technology company which develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services, announces the Confidential Consortium Framework, a technology that strives to make blockchain systems quicker and more secure.

Thus, according to the report, the Coco Framework will include Ethereum, R3 Corda, Intel’s Hyperledger Sawtooth, and JP Morgan’s Quorum.

Blockchain is a transformational technology with the ability to significantly reduce the friction of doing business. Microsoft is committed to bringing blockchain to the enterprise. We have listened to the needs of our customers and the blockchain community and are bringing foundational functionality with the Coco Framework. 
 

Mark Russinovich
Chief technology officer of Azure at Microsoft

However, the Microsoft team draws special to the fact that the Coco Framework is not a blockchain itself and it is not tied to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service.

According to the Coco Framework white paper, “enterprise-ready blockchains networks” will deliver many benefits including:

  • Throughput and latency approaching database speeds.
  • Richer, more flexible business-specific confidentiality models.
  • Network policy management through distributed governance.
  • Support for non-deterministic transactions.
  • Reduced energy consumption.

The Coco-enabled blockchain networks now can achieve transactions speeds in excess of 1,600 transactions per second. 

Gibraltar launches license for firms using blockchain

The license would formally recognize the use of blockchain records as an accepted mechanism for transmitting payments
14 December

The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) will introduce the world’s first bespoke license for fintech firms using blockchain technology from next month in in attempt to attract start-ups.

The license is the first of its kind and would formally recognize the use of blockchain records as an accepted mechanism for transmitting payments, paving the way for broader adoption.

This is the first instance of a purpose-built legislative framework for businesses that use blockchain or distributed ledger technology.

 

Nicky Gomez

The head of risk and innovation, GFSC

GFSC will publish guidance on Friday for applying its new law for firms that use blockchain to “transmit or store” cash and assets belonging to others - much in the same way as a bank is authorized.

According to Nicky Gomez, Gibraltar expects firms numbering well into “double digits” to seek authorization after the new rules come into force on January 1. Firms will have to treat customers fairly, and must have adequate IT systems and controls to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules.