Microsoft has unveiled a new Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) product which would help businesses from various industry use a flexible version of the Ethereum blockchain, tailored specifically for enterprise environments. Notably, this product does not require the energy-consuming process of crypto mining.
The Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure, which was announced on Tuesday, would enable individuals and firms design applications on an Ethereum blockchain that is not secured by a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm and consequently does not require mining. This type of BaaS application is better suited for untrusted networks.
According to Microsoft Azure, the new BaaS comes with a set of solution templates that users can deploy and configure any of blockchain network with minimal Azure and blockchain knowledge. Additionally, network administrators can use the embedded on-chain voting mechanism to vote on and alter network authorities in a transparent and auditable manner.
The built-in decentralized application (DApp) known as the “Governance DApp,” and embedded in the Microsoft Azure Proof-of-Authority product allows members with the required authority to supervise an ethereum network or even relegate their authority and voting rights to other members. Furthermore, network participants can also assign other nodes in the network to vote on their behalf when they are offline to balance the continual consensus participation.
In order to improve flexibility on developers and also the product’s usability, Microsoft has integrated support for smart contracts using its in-house developed Parity’s WebAssembly (Wasm) toolkit. This will allow developers to design smart contracts using well-known programming languages like C, C++, and Rust while they learn Solidarity, Ethereum’s primary programming language. Microsoft Azure stated that using the Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure, users can easily configure a blockchain network topology in a few minutes, “rather than spending hours building out and configuring the infrastructure,”
Microsoft Azure has automated these time-consuming processes to allow developers focus on building out scenarios and applications. When deployed, Microsoft Azure’s new product, network, and storage services can be accessed from any location, with no underlying fees.