Both Microsoft and Intel are big supporters of blockchain. They think it's going to be "bigger than the internet," contributing trillions of dollars to the economy before long. At the same time, they spell out the overwhelming obstacles blockchain must overcome to reach this pinnacle of achievement. Guess what, surprise surprise, the special version of blockchain created by Intel and Microsoft is indispensable to solving the problems and achieving success!
You can see their deep thinking here and here. Before diving in, I'd like to point out that the custom, private blockchain they advocate is a contradiction in terms, as I illustrate here -- even if they implement what they claim perfectly, it will still be a joke.
Here are a few of the little obstacles that blockchain has to overcome before becoming acceptable for enterprise use, according to Microsoft and/or Intel:
- Normal blockchain performance is a few transactions per second. "Reed said the trusted execution environment of Intel SGX enables Coco to deliver a novel consensus mechanism that can deliver up to 1600 transactions per second..."
- Normally, everything on a blockchain is public information. "Microsoft uses Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) to protect the Coco Framework. Reed said the trusted execution environment of Intel SGX ... helps Coco transactions remain confidential among blockchain participants."
- With a normal public blockchain, no one is in charge. This doesn't come close to meeting enterprise requirements. Microsoft's private blockchain enables classic management, access controls and all the rest.
- Processing power
- Intel says "Public cryptocurrency blockchains require huge amounts of energy to verify transactions through node consensus. Analysts have estimated a single bitcoin transaction can require as much energy as the average American home uses in a week."
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
The other big vendors, like IBM with its team of 1,500 people working on its Blockchain effort, have similar stories about what's wrong with Blockchain and why you should use theirs. When you add it all up, it does make you wonder about this revolutionary new technology, and exactly why important new initiatives should depend on this brand-new, largely untested code that obviously was not built with practical, enterprise use in mind.