Microsoft has just rolled out an additional consensus mechanism for clients building ethereum-based apps on Azure that does away with mining.
Called "proof-of-authority," the mechanism notably replaces the proof-of-work mining process that is common in public blockchains. However, it is only applicable in a permissioned network scenario – that is, on private or consortium blockchains where only invited parties may participate as nodes, Azure software engineer Cody Born wrote in a post on Tuesday.
The addition of proof-of-authority allows Azure's institutional clients to verify transactions more efficiently and maintains high levels of security, Born said, although "the underlying ether has no value."
Proof-of-authority consensus essentially requires the presence of invited parties as a proof of their participation in the decentralized network.
To that effort, the post said the mechanism allows "each consensus participant to delegate multiple nodes to run on their behalf" – the goal being to ensure that even if one node goes down, a consensus authority can still maintain its presence on the network.
The addition follows Microsoft's May launch of the Azure Blockchain Workbench – a tool designed to streamline the process for enterprises building decentralized applications on the cloud computing platform.
Microsoft image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.