In their relatively short lifespan, blockchain technologies have already undergone significant milestones. Bitcoin’s blockchain, often referred to as Blockchain 1.0, features a simple database ledger that records transactions in a chronological order and represents the state of the network to participants. Ethereum, or Blockchain 2.0, introduced the notion of smart contracts. Microsoft’s Bletchley Project introduces a new modular architecture which might mark a new milestone for blockchain technologies.
Marley Gray, Principal Program Manager Blockchain at Microsoft, joins us to talk about Microsoft’s approach to blockchain architecture. With enterprise in mind, Bletchley introduces the concept of “Cryptlets”, the core building blocks for introducing a secure middleware tier into blockchain application infrastructure. These computational units, running off-chain, on secure trusted container enclave hardware, could provide trusted data to on-chain smart contract logic.
Topics we discussed in this episode
- Marley’s background and experience at Microsoft
- Why Microsoft is aggressively pursuing blockchain technologies (compared to other large tech companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc)
- Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service offering
- Project Bletchley, its goals and the problems it is trying to address
- The primary use cases in which Bletchley may provide value
- How Bletchley addresses the issue of deploying consortium style blockchains
- What are Cryptlets and how do they relate to Bletchley
- How Cryptlets are different from Oracles
- How Cryptlets could provide data to Ethereum-style smart contracts