Blockchain (a-image/Shutterstock.com)

Microsoft adds blockchain services to Azure Government

With the hype around blockchain technology growing steadily, Microsoft announced new capabilities for the distributed ledger technology in the Azure Government Cloud at its Oct. 17 Microsoft Cloud Forum.

Blockchain for Azure Government is designed to support a wide array of blockchain and distributed ledger solutions, including Ethereum, Hyperledger, R3 Corda and Chain.

Microsoft is also pushing forward with its “trusted execution environment” called the Coco Framework to protect code in a confidential computing setting.

“Blockchains are currently transparent, so everyone can see what is on the blockchain, which makes it not usable when you want some of the data to be private,” Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich said at the forum. 

The Coco Framework also is designed to “remove the latency” that is found in public blockchains and serve as an open-source framework.  Russinovich said Microsoft has a proof of concept for the framework and is planning to make it public early next year.

Blockchain for Azure Government will help government agencies deal with issues such as the distribution of funds after natural disasters and the registration of property ownership.  Plans are also in the works to develop blockchain software-as a-service capabilities.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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