Marley Gray, director of blockchain business development and strategy at Microsoft, posted an update to GitHub in June 2016 providing an overview of Bletchley. This white paper was published six days after Microsoft's announcement of Project Bletchley on June 15, 2016, and goes on to say that Project Bletchley is a set of tools for supporting SmartContracts on the blockchain, enabling secure access to off-chain information. The project supports open standards for protocol-level implementations of peer-to-peer networking, consensus, database and virtual machines are vital to establish trust within a blockchain ecosystem. Bletchley is a middleware tool set for developers and provides an ecosystem to enable implementing identity, security, cryptography, scale, tooling, management, monitoring and reporting for both on and off the blockchain. What Bletchley offers is performance flexibility for core, kernel and universal protocols.
"At a high level, the template provisions and configures a subnet of mining nodes for each consortium member and a set of load-balanced transaction nodes that members can share to communicate with the network. Through the administrator web page, you can configure additional Ethereum accounts to get started with smart contract and eventually application development," explain company officials in a September 20 blog post. Bletchley's Cryptlet Fabric is comprised of Cryptlets, and provide developers with the ability to integrate with existing systems, provide secure execution and deliver data privacy, Microsoft officials explained in a blog post on Bletchley v.1. In a deep dive post, Microsoft officials described Cryptlets as similar to blockchain oracles, but said Cryptlets will "provide much more in the way of security and trust in a scalable ecosystem."
Microsoft initially launched Azure Blockchain as a Service in November 2015. Since then, Microsoft has been working with businesses and partners to get their feedback on the missing pieces needed before enterprises can and will adopt blockchain applications. On June 15, Microsoft took the wraps off its plan to address some of these issues with what it's calling Project Bletchley. Bletchley is Microsoft's "vision for an open, modular blockchain fabric powered by Azure." But it has uses beyond that.
Blockchain has captured the collective curiosity of the business and technology world and rapidly approaches the peak of the hype-cycle witnessed in other technology "fads" of the past. However, this "fad" is different from those in that it is largely not based on new technology, but rather a composite of proven technologies applied to create the underpinning of Bitcoin. However, that same technology when applied to other use cases happens to address a substantial latent pain that exists across industries. Blockchain, or more accurately Distributed Ledger, is more of a catalyst to inspire change in the way disparate organizations work together in highly competitive markets. Existing inter-company transactions carry enormous costs in process, procedure and crosschecking of records to come to settlement on what could turn out to be a trivial exercise using blockchain technology. In short, blockchain or distributed ledger technologies can provide the next wave of innovation that streamlines the way business operates, the same way the web did, giving birth to a new collaborative economy. Bletchley is Microsoft's architectural approach to building an Enterprise Consortium Blockchain Ecosystem. To be clear, this is not a new blockchain stack.
British payments services firm Caxton will use Microsoft's cloud platform to offer faster, cheaper and more secure banking via blockchain technology. The private blockchain system will run on Azure and give users direct access to preferential banking rates, while cutting their service costs. The move will be particularly beneficial for e-commerce businesses looking to make payments in multiple currencies, app developers who need a regulated partner to handle transactions or banks that needs a simple, multicurrency platform. Russell Stather, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Caxton, said: "This offer will be particularly exciting for our client's CTOs. This technology strips out the need for an API [application-programming interface], meaning everything is under their control.