On Tuesday, tech giant Microsoft announced a new BaaS product (“blockchain as a service”) Ethereum on Azure, which allows companies across the industrial vertical to use a flexible version of Ethereum, made especially for the needs of their business.
Ethereum on Azure allows companies to create applications based on the Ethereum blockchain, which does not use the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm and therefore does not require mining – these functions are better suited for networks where participants are not inclined to trust each other. Instead, Ethereum on Azure uses an algorithm like “proof-of-authority” (“PoA,” that is, “proof by the validator”).
The PoW algorithm “works perfectly in anonymous, open networks, where cryptocurrency contributes to network security,” said software developer Cody Born from Azure Global. “But in private/consortium networks, the Ether underlying the blockchain does not matter.”
According to Born, since all participants in the corporate blockchain network are known and trustworthy, network management can be separated from its actual functioning.
For this reason, the PoA product is equipped with a built-in decentralized application called Governance DApp, which gives members of the consortium the power to manage the network and delegate its voice to others. Network participants can delegate to other nodes voting from their own person if its main nodes are not on the network – this ensures that all members will constantly participate in the process of securing consensus.
Network administrators, in turn, can use intranet voting to transparently and accountably vote and change the network’s validators.
In addition, the development of blockchain libraries using a new consensus model – including the basic PoW product based on Ethereum – is carried out in no more than 5 minutes, which provides the company with a blockchain-based solution that is installed in a “one-click”.
To increase the ease of use of its product, Microsoft added the ability to create smart contracts using the Parity WebAssembly (Wasm) toolkit, which allows developers to write smart contracts in familiar programming languages such as C, C ++, and Rust, and do not learn Solidity – the main programming language of Ethereum.