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Microsoft launches Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure for multi-member consortium networks

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Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure

Microsoft has launched a new blockchain-based service called Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure, to make it easier for enterprises developers to deploy, configure, and govern a multi-member private network.

The tech giant already provides an Ethereum ledger project called Ethereum on Azure. The Ethereum on Azure is a Proof-of-Work solution that comes with a set of solution templates allowing deployment and configuration of blockchain network with minimal knowledge of Azure and blockchain.

The difference between the new solution and existing solution is that one is Proof-of-Authority solution, while another is Proof-of-Work. Microsoft explained in a blog post how the PoA will work in the circumstances where PoW lack some necessities.

“Proof-of-Work is a Sybil-resistance mechanism that leverages computation costs to self-regulate the network and allow fair participation. This works great in anonymous, open networks where competition for cryptocurrency promotes security on the network.

However, in private/consortium networks the underlying ether has no value. An alternative protocol, Proof-of-Authority, is more suitable for permissioned networks where all consensus participants are known and reputable. Without the need for mining, Proof-of-Authority is more efficient while still retaining Byzantine fault tolerance.”

PoA will allow enterprise developers to more efficiently build and deploy decentralized applications (DApps) for private networks.

The new product comes with built-in DApp feature named Governance DApp primarily focused on customers who want to be part of consortium without managing network infrastructure. It will enable them to separate consortium governance from network operation.

The Governance DApp enables decentralized governance so that the changes in network authorities are administered through on-chain voting by selected admins. It also allows authorities to manage their validator nodes, and record the changes in blockchain for transparency and auditability.

Also read: Microsoft developing a self-owned identity system using blockchain

Typically, the Ethereum development requires developers to use Solidity language which is one of the largest pain point for them. On that end, Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure enables support for Parity’s web development, so that developers can build smart contracts using familiar languages like C, C++ and Rust.

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