Microsoft has filed two patents with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, on Thursday 9th August. The patents indicate that Microsoft is planning on using TEE (Trusted Execution Environments) in combination with its blockchain to offer added security.
The information presented in the patent filings defines a TEE as a “pre-determined type of blockchain or other security protocol code” within a “validation node”. The TEE would be beneficial in two distinct ways.
First of all, it would help in the creation of a “Consortium blockchain network”. This is possible by the creation of the first node within the blockchain to store a “pre-determined membership list” alongside various other pieces of information. A TEE attestation would, therefore, be used to securely add members contained within the consortium network.
Second of all, TEE would be utilized to verify blockchain transaction atop a network within which multiple pre-authorized entities need to convene. Through this process of verifying via programmed TEEs, a particular encrypted transaction within a network would be processed and confirmed in a direct manner to the authorized blockchain, eliminating the need for decryption.
The patent reads:
““Directly” updating the state means that the VN updates the state without any actions or confirmation being required by any other entity in order to update the state. The VN may then broadcast the updated official state of the processed blockchain to the blockchain network. In some examples, because of the trust, VNs do not need to do re-computation for verification”.
Apart from the aforementioned use cases, the two patents also briefly mention the process of TEE attestation within the context of the “Confidential Consortium (COCO) blockchain framework”. This outlines the possibility of enhanced systems of verification which require the consensus of multiple validation nodes.
Although these filings were submitted by Microsoft as early as June last year, the corporate giant has since begun offering cloud-based, Azure Blockchain Workbench. Microsoft has also announced this month that it has updated additional feature to the software designed in mind with clients operating on public blockchain such as Ethereum.