As the cryptocurrency sector is continually evolving and changing, the enterprise blockchain industry has been undergoing its fair share of developments recently. Most recently, business blockchain options are changing from personal, closed networks to public, open systems. This has largely been made possible due to advances from the Ethereum network, which can be ensuring better privacy, scalability, throughput and more for business customers.
A new industry analysis report demonstrates this change, noting that the worldwide blockchain technology market size is predicted to achieve $72 billion by 2026, rising at a market increase of 51.8% CAGR during the forecast period. Interestingly , findings in the report reveal that during 2020, the public enterprise blockchain market section emerged as the major model with the highest share in the world market.
As more enterprise blockchain solutions change to public networks, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft recently announced its Azure Blockchain Service is migrating users to alternative offerings. It is important to note that Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain was originally made from a sandbox-style agency in 2015 on Ethereum in partnership with ConsenSys. In 2019, the alternative was offered as a fully managed blockchain-as-a-service, or BaaS.
Fast forward to 2021, and a recent blog post from Microsoft says that Azure users must now”migrate ledger information from Azure Blockchain Service into another offering.” The article further recommends for users to move into the Quorum Blockchain Service, or QBS.
For context, QBS is a controlled offering by ConsenSys on Azure that supports Quorum as ledger technology. Quorum enables enterprise customers to construct blockchain options on the public Ethereum mainnet, along with personal networks.
Emmanuel Marchal, global head of sales for the blockchain software firm ConsenSys, advised Cointelegraph that given ConsenSys’ ownership of Quorum, Together with the Organization’s long-term relationship with Microsoft, it makes sense for Microsoft to join with ConsenSys:
“ConsenSys is supplying migration out of your Azure Blockchain Service into the Quorum Blockchain Service offered on Azure. This has always been part of our strategic relationship, to ensure Azure customers have an enterprise-grade managed blockchain agency with Quorum.”
Marchal further noticed that since ConsenSys gained ownership of Quorum out of JPMorgan last year, the company was focused on bringing innovative technologies to market. This includes using a controlled service for Quorum. Depending on the strong relationship between ConsenSys and Microsoft, Marchal explained that”It makes sense to transition the Azure Blockchain Service customers to QBS as the recommended migration approach.”
As such, Marchal shared that ConsenSys was working actively with heaps of Azure Blockchain users to assist them plan their migration into QBS. “The objective is to get a cooperation between Microsoft and ConsenSys to ensure a seamless migration from one service to another,” he said.
Is this good news for Microsoft?
Although it might appear unfortunate that Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service is coming to a finish, Marchal perspectives this change as an advancement. “ConsenSys maintains open-source Quorum technology. Azure Blockchain Service users using that personal technology stay in great hands with ConsenSys moving ahead, and we’re confident about this migration.”
Additionally, from the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service user perspective — which includes major corporate customers like JPMorgan, GE Aviation, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks and Xbox — that the migration to QBS might not have much of an impact. For Example, international blockchain lead at Ernst & Young (EY) Paul Brody informed Cointelegraph the Big Four firm’s program with Microsoft and Xbox remains unchanged:
“The Microsoft program to migrate software contracts for the Xbox ecosystem to Ethereum-based smart-contracts continues to gain steam, with over 300 companies now incorporated.”
Azure SQL adds an immutable ledger
Coincidently, Azure SQL — a controlled cloud database supplied as part of Microsoft Azure — is integrating a ledger attribute. This advancement was announced at Microsoft’s Build 2021 developer event.
The post further claims the Azure SQL Database ledger will offer a”simpler solution for centralized systems where strengthening trust between parties is required.”
Additionally, it is noticed that the ledger feature of the Azure SQL Database does not demand any migration of information or modifications to user software. “You can empower ledger functionality on tables on your database and interact together with precisely the very same ways you want any additional tables,” the post states.
While noteworthy, the Azure SQL Database sounds very similar to Oracle’s crypto-secure information offering, which was declared in March. Juan Loaiza, executive vice president of Mission-Critical Database Technologies at Oracle, previously told Cointelegraph that Oracle has produced a crypto-secure data management offering that leverages”blockchain tables” inside the Oracle database. Loaiza also noted that this attribute differs from Oracle’s blockchain platform, which can be built on Hyperledger Fabric and is often used for supply chain management.
This in mind, another potential enterprise blockchain trend moving ahead might be the incorporation of immutable ledgers into enterprise-grade databases, as already demonstrated by both Oracle and Microsoft.
Will more ventures change to public systems?
In regard to Microsoft’s migration into a solution powered by business Ethereum, Brody remarked that EY is visiting an overall tendency, where firms are shifting their focus toward public blockchains and closing down their private-blockchain-centric hosting businesses. “With nearly 15,000 nodes for Bitcoin and Ethereum combined running out there, everyone is visiting the much bigger public business since the priority,” he said.
Although this may be the current trend, it’s notable to mention that some business solutions are continuing to rely on personal networks. General manager of IBM AI Apps and Blockchain Kareem Yusuf advised Cointelegraph that ventures are continuing to invest in blockchain networks, and many pick permissioned blockchains to solve complex industry challenges:
“Among enterprises, collaboration and trusted data sharing are crucial, and for most, permissioned systems offer the confidence they require. Later on, we hope that we will see more intersection of public and private networks.”