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CRN Exclusive: Intel's Michael Reed On The Company's Big Blockchain Bet And How Partners Could Benefit

Michael Reed, director of Intel's Blockchain Program Office, sheds some light on the company's recently revealed patent application for a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator and details efforts with the blockchain decentralized ledger technology.

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Have you been working with any other companies on blockchain projects?

Yes, a variety of companies. There's one company that I haven't mentioned yet. A company called R3. They're a banking consortium in the financial services industry. They have over 100 of the world's largest financial services companies as part of their consortium membership. And they're building a technology called R3 Corda, which is their own blockchain solution for the financial services industry. Intel invested in R3 back in March of 2017. We're working with them to build an enterprise blockchain that runs on a technology called Intel Software Guard Extensions [SGX]. This is a portion of our processors that helps improve blockchain privacy, security and scalability. That's one example of an intriguing corporate relationship that we have. Another one that you may be familiar with is -- the company is Microsoft -- they have a project called Azure Confident Computing, or ACC, and within that is a blockchain solution called … the Coco Framework for Microsoft. And like R3, this is an enterprise blockchain solution, and they're developing it, again, to run on this Intel Software Guard Extension for Intel SGX, and we're combining SGX with Coco Framework. Microsoft was able to demonstrate last August they could deliver 1,600 transactions per second for enterprise blockchain deployment, which, if you were to compare that to the throughput of public Bitcoin or public Ethereum today, those run between five and 15 transactions per second, so 1,600 transactions per second is quite a breakthrough, and it's something that a lot of companies are paying attention to.

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