Category Archives : Blockchain

07

Aug

Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure
Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure

We’ve had great traction with our support of Ethereum on Azure. The existing Proof-of-Work solution has been deployed tens of thousands of times across a variety of industry verticals. Through the extensive development on our platform, we’ve received great feedback from the community that has helped us shape our next Ethereum ledger product. I’m excited to announce the release of Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure.

Proof-of-Authority

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.

Enterprise-ready

We’ve built this solution with the same principles that we drive in all our production services at Microsoft. In Proof-of-Authority, each consensus node on the network has its own Ethereum identity. In the case that a node goes down, it’s important that the member doesn’t lose consensus participation. Ideally, each member would run redundant consensus nodes to ensure

02

Aug

Improve collaborative care and clinical data sharing with blockchain

Currently, the healthcare industry suffers major inefficiencies due to diverse uncoordinated and unconnected data sources/systems. Collaboration is vital to improve healthcare outcomes. With digitized health data, the exchange of healthcare information across healthcare organizations is essential to support effective care collaboration. Traditional health information exchanges have had limited success.

Blockchain offers new capabilities to greatly improve health information exchange. At Microsoft we are working to maximize the benefits of solutions that have the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance the experiences of patients and healthcare workers. With that I’d like to announce a new partner solution and pilot for a better health information exchange that uses blockchain, and runs in Microsoft Azure.

Interoperability and exchanges

Grapevine World, one of the leaders in the application of blockchain technology, make use of the Institute for Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) methodology for interoperability. They employ multiple blockchains for tracking data provenance, and provide a crypto token as means of exchange within their ecosystem.

Grapevine World is a decentralized ecosystem for the seamless exchange and utilization of health data in a standardized, secure manner. In collaboration with the University of Southampton and Tiani Spirit, they have developed a new blockchain-enabled

24

Jul

Top feature requests added with Azure Blockchain Workbench 1.2.0

We’re excited to see a ton of engagement and positive feedback on Azure Blockchain Workbench since our initial public preview release in May. Last month, we made our first major update to the public preview release based on your feedback and feature requests. Today, we’re releasing our next update to Workbench, which we’re calling version 1.2.0. You can either deploy a new instance of Workbench through the Azure Portal or upgrade your existing deployment to 1.2.0 using our upgrade script.

This update includes the following improvements:

Enable/disable apps

Many of you have started to iterate and create multiple blockchain apps using Workbench. One of the most requested features we’ve heard is the ability to disable unused blockchain apps within the Workbench Web app. With 1.2.0, you will be able to enable or disable applications. In addition, the UI will allow you to filter the list of applications to only show enabled or disabled applications.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Blockchain

As part of the Workbench deployment, we deploy a set of Ethereum Proof-of Authority (PoA) nodes within a single member’s subscription. This topology works great for situations where it’s OK to have one member manage all the blockchain

24

Jul

Top feature requests added with Azure Blockchain Workbench 1.2.0

We’re excited to see a ton of engagement and positive feedback on Azure Blockchain Workbench since our initial public preview release in May. Last month, we made our first major update to the public preview release based on your feedback and feature requests. Today, we’re releasing our next update to Workbench, which we’re calling version 1.2.0. You can either deploy a new instance of Workbench through the Azure Portal or upgrade your existing deployment to 1.2.0 using our upgrade script.

This update includes the following improvements:

Enable/disable apps

Many of you have started to iterate and create multiple blockchain apps using Workbench. One of the most requested features we’ve heard is the ability to disable unused blockchain apps within the Workbench Web app. With 1.2.0, you will be able to enable or disable applications. In addition, the UI will allow you to filter the list of applications to only show enabled or disabled applications.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Blockchain

As part of the Workbench deployment, we deploy a set of Ethereum Proof-of Authority (PoA) nodes within a single member’s subscription. This topology works great for situations where it’s OK to have one member manage all the blockchain

17

Jul

Blockchain as a tool for anti-fraud

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. In 2016, healthcare costs in the US are estimated at nearly 18 percent of the GDP! Healthcare is becoming less affordable worldwide, and a serious chasm is widening between those that can afford healthcare and those that cannot. There are many factors driving the high cost of healthcare, one of them is fraud. In healthcare, there are several types of fraud including prescription fraud, medical identity fraud, financial fraud, and occupational fraud. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates conservatively that health care fraud costs the US about $68 billion annually, which is about three percent of the US total $2.26 trillion in overall healthcare spending. There are two root vulnerabilities in healthcare organizations: insufficient protection of data integrity, and a lack of transparency.

Insufficient protection of data integrity enables fraudulent modification of records

Cybersecurity involves safeguarding the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data. Often cybersecurity is mistakenly equated with protecting just the confidentiality of data to prevent unauthorized access. However, equally important is protecting the availability of data. That is, you must secure timely and reliable access to data, as well as the integrity of the data. You must ensure records are accurate, complete,

17

Jul

Blockchain as a tool for anti-fraud

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. In 2016, healthcare costs in the US are estimated at nearly 18 percent of the GDP! Healthcare is becoming less affordable worldwide, and a serious chasm is widening between those that can afford healthcare and those that cannot. There are many factors driving the high cost of healthcare, one of them is fraud. In healthcare, there are several types of fraud including prescription fraud, medical identity fraud, financial fraud, and occupational fraud. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates conservatively that health care fraud costs the US about $68 billion annually, which is about three percent of the US total $2.26 trillion in overall healthcare spending. There are two root vulnerabilities in healthcare organizations: insufficient protection of data integrity, and a lack of transparency.

Insufficient protection of data integrity enables fraudulent modification of records

Cybersecurity involves safeguarding the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data. Often cybersecurity is mistakenly equated with protecting just the confidentiality of data to prevent unauthorized access. However, equally important is protecting the availability of data. That is, you must secure timely and reliable access to data, as well as the integrity of the data. You must ensure records are accurate, complete,

17

Jul

R3 on Azure: Launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1

As part of our ongoing partnership, which my colleague Kashif Ali discussed in his November update, we are delighted to announce the launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1 to the Azure Marketplace.

This comes at a time when the state of digital ledger, blockchain technology, and the surrounding industry are maturing and continuing to rapidly growth. In particular, maturity around the R3 ecosystem is accelerating.

Today, R3 launches their Corda Enterprise v3.1 offering to the Azure Marketplace with a free trial offer, giving you the opportunity to kick the tires before you buy. As one of the few general purpose enterprise digital ledgers in the market, R3 continues to drive interesting projects like the recently launched KYC solution involving 33 institutions sharing KYC data geographically spread around the world all running in Azure.

Corda Enterprise offers a number of unique Azure features that make standing up a digital ledger environment inside an enterprise much simpler.

The deployment template in the Azure Marketplace:

Dramatically speeds deployment and configuration of Corda Enterprise. Is the gold standard reference implementation. Offers resilience and high availability. Easily integrate with existing enterprise systems through Azure services such as Logic Apps and Power Apps.

Some of the technical

17

Jul

R3 on Azure: Launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1

As part of our ongoing partnership, which my colleague Kashif Ali discussed in his November update, we are delighted to announce the launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1 to the Azure Marketplace.

This comes at a time when the state of digital ledger, blockchain technology, and the surrounding industry are maturing and continuing to grow rapidly. In particular, maturity around the R3 ecosystem is accelerating.

Today, R3 launches their Corda Enterprise v3.1 offering to the Azure Marketplace with a free trial offer, giving you the opportunity to kick the tires before you buy. As one of the few general purpose enterprise digital ledgers in the market, R3 continues to drive interesting projects like the recently launched KYC solution involving 33 institutions sharing KYC data geographically spread around the world all running in Azure.

Corda Enterprise offers a number of unique Azure features that make standing up a digital ledger environment inside an enterprise much simpler.

The deployment template in the Azure Marketplace:

Dramatically speeds deployment and configuration of Corda Enterprise. Is the gold standard reference implementation. Offers resilience and high availability. Easily integrate with existing enterprise systems through Azure services such as Logic Apps and Power Apps.

Some of the technical nuances

07

May

Simplifying blockchain app development with Azure Blockchain Workbench

This week, developers from around the world join us at our annual Microsoft Build conference to hear about the latest in technology innovation. Blockchain remains a key topic of interest.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of customers have experimented with the blockchain templates and developer tooling available on our Azure Marketplace to begin their blockchain journeys. Businesses across industries have built a variety of applications to address needs ranging from pharmaceutical counterfeiting and travel booking reconciliation, to the creation of digital domestic currencies. While the use cases are diverse, the challenges for customers just beginning their journey have been the same – bespoke applications are costly and time consuming to develop and notoriously difficult to integrate.

Skip the scaffolding

Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview release of Azure Blockchain Workbench, a new offering that can reduce application development time from months to days. Workbench gets customers started quickly by automating infrastructure setup, so developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.

Businesses using Workbench can provision the scaffolding for an end-to-end blockchain application with just a few simple clicks. Using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Workbench not only

07

May

Simplifying blockchain app development with Azure Blockchain Workbench

This week, developers from around the world join us at our annual Microsoft Build conference to hear about the latest in technology innovation. Blockchain remains a key topic of interest.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of customers have experimented with the blockchain templates and developer tooling available on our Azure Marketplace to begin their blockchain journeys. Businesses across industries have built a variety of applications to address needs ranging from pharmaceutical counterfeiting and travel booking reconciliation, to the creation of digital domestic currencies. While the use cases are diverse, the challenges for customers just beginning their journey have been the same – bespoke applications are costly and time consuming to develop and notoriously difficult to integrate.

Skip the scaffolding

Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview release of Azure Blockchain Workbench, a new offering that can reduce application development time from months to days. Workbench gets customers started quickly by automating infrastructure setup, so developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.

Businesses using Workbench can provision the scaffolding for an end-to-end blockchain application with just a few simple clicks. Using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Workbench not only