In an under-the-radar announcement, Microsoft says it has launched Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure. While this has gone largely unnoticed, it has wide implications and is something of a huge announcement for those in the crypto community.
If you are unfamiliar with Ethereum on Azure, it is a service for the easy deployment of Ethereum blockchain. Customers can deploy in minutes while providing reliability and deep analytics. In March, Microsoft made improvements to the service, including higher network presence, easier deployment, and further operational support.
Microsoft explains how Proof-of-Work may function in some circumstance, in others POA is necessary:
“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.”
The next evolution in Ethereum on Azure is Proof-of-Authority. In a blog post, Cody Born, a software engineer for Microsoft announced the change:
“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.”
I mentioned this is a fairly seismic announcement for the crypto-community. Organizations are increasingly adopting blockchain solutions. With Microsoft in the game, the company's partners will drive the development of applications.
Essentially, Microsoft is the sort of company that can add credibility to Ethereum and blockchain. The company's resources and global reach will also drive adoption. It is also worth noting some competitors may also take notice and enter into the market in a more aggressive way.