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Microsoft launches its new blockchain-based ledger service

On the first day of its virtual Build 2021 developer conference, Microsoft unveiled its new Blockchain-powered ledger service called Azure Confidential. This comes just weeks after the company announced shutting down Azure blockchain as a Service offering.

Azure Confidential Ledger (ACL) builds on the idea just like the Azure Blockchain Service. The difference is: Microsoft Azure Confidential Ledger adds an extra layer of security and scalability on top of the blockchain. It uses Azure Confidential Computing Platform, meaning ACL runs in a dedicated and fully attested hardware-backed enclave.

ACL is built on top of the Confidential Consortium Framework unveiled by Microsoft in 2017. This framework was designed to work with any ledger protocol and work on any operating system and hypervisor supporting a Trusted Execution Environment or secure processor area.

Microsoft officials said ACL performs well when users require audit logging and tracking of susceptible admin operations. Other good candidates for ACL included healthcare, financial and retail, information technology and supply chain monitoring.

Microsoft also clarified that Azure Confidential Ledger doesn’t replace Azure Blockchain Service and is more of an offering for users who want the maximum level of privacy afforded to them. With ACL, customers can take advantage of Azure’s Confidential Computing to harness the power of secure enclaves when setting up a distributed blockchain network.

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