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InfoQ Homepage News First Release of Project Bletchley on Microsoft Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service

First Release of Project Bletchley on Microsoft Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service

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Last week, Microsoft released Project Bletchley, an Ethereum-based consortium blockchain to its blockchain-as-a-service ecosystem. The highlight of the first release is the high efficiency and low cost of deploying a consortium Ethereum network. Around the same time, roadmap details for Cryptlets was published.

Marley Grey, Program Manager for Azure blockchain engineering in his blog said:

It reduces the estimated 3 week process of setting up a globally distributed multi-node consortium Ethereum network down to 8 questions and 5-8 minutes. Not only does Bletchley v1 automate the setup of the network infrastructure but it sets up a portal for rapidly getting started developing applications on Ethereum.

The questionnaire as quoted by Marley, is a step-by-step process to select members of the consortium, number of nodes and their geographical distribution using the Azure cloud.

The Project Bletchley whitepaper, released in June this year outlining Microsoft's architectural approach to building a blockchain cloud fabric, introduced the concept of Cryptlets. Cryptlets are basically off-chain components written in a programming language of the developer's choice and executed in a secure, trusted container meant to deliver cross-cutting concerns such as integrations into external systems, data security and privacy among others.

Bletchley Layered Architecture

Cryptlets act as building blocks of a secure cloud-based blockchain middleware tier providing services like identity and operations management, in addition to data and intelligence services like analytics and machine learning. The Cryptlet tier is agnostic to the base platform tier, which can be any smartcontract based platform like Ethereum or Eris or a UTXO based platform such as Bitcoin or Hyperledger. For those familiar with the concept of Oracles, Cryptlets are Oracles with enhanced tooling and are blockchain platform agnostic.

The recently published paper on Cryptlets has dedicated sections for Utility Cryptlets, Contract Cryptlets, expected use-cases and a description of Cryptlet development, registration and enclaving processes with sample code.

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