Microsoft has surprised us again by announcing via whitepaper their new developments on their blockchain strategy. Microsoft has embraced all the blockchain technologies, starting with their announcement of their Blockchain as a Service, and the initiatives to tackle the Human Rights abuses thanks to the blockchain.
Cryptlets the oracle solution
Up until there has not been a way for smart contracts to interact or react to third party events. For example if we were going to model a life insurance on the blockchain, the smart contract will trigger payment to the policy holder on the event of death. But how does this external event can be recorded or triggered by the smart contract? Here is where Cryplets come in.
"Cryptlets are off-chain code components that are written in any language (as long as they are deterministic), executes within a secure, trusted container and communicated with using secure channels. Cryptlets can be used in SmartContracts and UTXO systems when additional functionality or information is needed and provided via a “CryptoDelegate” or adapter.
A CryptoDelegate is the function “hook” within the SmartContract Virtual Machine that calls the Cryptlet from the SmartContract code extending the secure and authentic envelope for transactions. Cryptlets are registered at the attested host^1 and referenced or created automatically by developers."
The blockchain has been always one part of the equation, there are plenty of services that are needed to be built on top, from traditional analytics to new types of marketplaces for smart contracts and oracles.
Bletchey is blockchain middleware or PaaS for what is described as an "Enterprise Consortium Distributed Ledger Fabric". Interesting to note that UTXO (Hyperledger) can plugged in too. A simple analogy is how several data can be part of Azure (Sql Azure, MongoDb, Oracle, etc).
The key components are:
Identity and Certificate Services Functionality found in both Azure Active Directory and Key Vault to provide PaaS services for authentication, authorization, key issuance, storage, access and lifecycle management. Providing Cryptlet registration and policy as well as establishing identity for people, organizations, key transactions and contracts and things, this service can be a platform for others to build vertical services like a KYC (“know your customer”) service, asset registration and federation, etc.
Encryption Services Partial payload encryption, or field level encryption for blockchain transactions with various encryption schemes (homomorphic, threshold, etc.) to make secret those values that should only be seen by the owner and counter parties + regulators
Cryptlet Services Attested hosting for cryptlets to be securely invoked by CryptoDelegates in SmartContracts or UTXO adapters. Services like location, trust validation, secure isolated containers will provide the runtime for cryptlets written in any language to be (deterministically) executed. Specifications for CryptoDelegate, Adapters and Cryptlets will be released to the community via open source so they can be implemented in other distributed ledgers.
Blockchain Gateway Services Interledger-like services to allow for SmartContracts and tokenized objects to be passed between different ledger systems. This service can provide transactional integrity to inter ledger transactions like transfer of financial instruments in a supply chain that spans several blockchains.
Data Services Key data services like distributed file systems (IPFS, Storj, etc) of off-chain data referenced by public keys. Auditing, Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning and Dashboarding services for SmartContracts, Blockchains, Consortia and Regulators.
Management and Operations Tools for deployment, management and operations of enterprise consortia distributed ledgers will bring the enterprise maturity lacking in the market today.
These are just quick extracts of the main ideas from the white paper, you can read the full Microsoft Blockchain PaaS Bletchey Whitepaper at Github