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. 

Ethereum network is still unstable

Byzantium had executed on Monday, but developers aren't ready to call the software transition complete
18 October

Organizations and developers are better off refraining from launching large projects until the Ethereum network is fully stable after the recent Byzantium update. This is said by the Gavin Wood, Parity Technologies head and reported by the Coindesk.

Since new versions of the software were released just days before the fork, much of the network has not yet been updated. So, at the time of press, slightly more than 25% of Parity customers updated, in Geth this indicator is slightly higher - about 59%. So, in total, the update was made about 45% of the network.

Another aspect that should also be taken into account is the short time for testing. In particular, the developers recalled previous versions of the software, discovering critical errors that could make the network vulnerable to DoS attacks or lead to incompatibility between nodes and, as a consequence, network sharing.

Therefore, the question of how safe the network is at the moment is fully justified and, taking into account what has been said above, remains open. This is exactly what Gavin Wood warned, recommending at this stage to refrain from launching large-scale projects.

In addition to the nodes that have yet to update, there is also a possibility that in the current Byzantium software there may be bugs that endanger the security of the Ethereum network. The most dangerous among them is a bug of consensus, in which nodes can not communicate. Its result can be the separation of the block-man into several incompatible chains.

As far as is known, at the moment developers are conducting extensive tests, trying to detect such bugs before they are active. As Gavin Wood says, if the network does contain such a bug, it will take several days to prove itself.

I don't think anyone believed the network was going to self-combust on block 4,370,000.
 

Gavin Wood
Head, Parity Technologies

The head of Parity Technologies is also convinced that if problems are discovered, the Ethereum development team will quickly release new updates designed to prevent any harm to the platform.