Microsoft Azure is adding a proof-of-authority mechanism to its blockchain product “Ethereum on Azure”, as reported by Azure’s software engineer Cody Born. The new method will eliminate crypto mining and ensure that all participants in the network can participate equally.
Proof-of-Work is a Sybil-resistance mechanism that leverages computation costs to self-regulate the network and allow fair participation … 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.
Born wrote that every node will have an Ethereum identity. However, participants can assign multiple nodes. In case, their node stops functioning, one of the other nodes can represent the participant. “Each Azure Proof-of-Authority network comes with our identity leasing system that ensures that no two nodes carry the same identity. In the case of a VM or regional outage, new nodes can quickly spin up and resume the previous nodes’ identities,” explained Born.
Apart from Solidity, users can also create smart contracts using programming languages such as C, C++ and Rust. A dashboard summarizing the node and network statistics “Azure Monitor” is also provided for users. A governance dApp will also help users to vote in a fair network owing to blockchain technology’s transparent nature.
Furthermore, Born wrote, “We’ve leveraged Parity’s highly extensible Proof-of-Authority client to build a level of abstraction that allows our users to separate consortium governance from network operation. Each consortium member has the power to govern the network and can optionally delegate the consensus participation to the operator of their choosing.”
Earlier this week, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that it was creating a digital asset platform ‘Bakkt’, which would offer BTC future contracts. It was reported that Microsoft, along with Starbucks, had partnered with ICE to support the new platform.