No Mining on Microsoft’s Ethereum Blockchain
Microsoft just released a new blockchain as a Service (BaaS) product called Ethereum Proof-of-Authority, which allows businesses to deploy a flexible instance of Ethereum tailored just for the enterprise environment. Microsoft's Ethereum Proof-of-Authority on Azure will provide enterprises the opportunity to build applications on the blockchain not secured by Proof-of-Work algorithms. The lack of such algorithms make the network unsuitable for mining, which often requires trust mechanisms in place.
According to Coby Born, Azure Network Global Software Engineer, Proof-of-Work (PoW):
“works great in anonymous open networks where cryptocurrency promotes security on the network. However, in private/consortium networks the underlying ether has no value.”
Born further added that because the participants on an enterprise blockchain network are known and reputable, network operation and governance can be separated.
As for Proof-of-Authority, this type of system includes a decentralized application (DApp), called Governance DApp. This application provides consortium members with authority to govern the network or delegate to others their voting power. Additionally, participants can delegate other notes to vote on their behalf in an event or if their primary nodes go offline. This ensures that all members maintain continual consensus participation.
On the other hand, network administrators can use on-chain voting to vote on and alter network authorities with full transparency. Interestingly enough, the PoW blockchain product is much faster and provides enterprises with a “single-click” solution.
Microsoft also added a mechanism for smart contract support for contracts built using the Wasm toolkit. Users can write smart contracts with programming languages like C, C++, and Rust. They do not need to know and use Solidarity, the primary programming language for Ethereum.