The big news today was the formal announcement of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
Ethereum, which is just one of the many cryptocurrencies currently vying for market dominance, is based upon a blockchain which is often referred to as a distributed ledger. This ledger can be used to record and execute transactions without the need of a central authority, but instead relies on distributed nodes to keep track of and verify changes. The most well know blockchain based currency is Bitcoin, which started off in 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto released his first whitepaper on the subject.
Today over thirty organizations, including big banks, tech giants, and other others, such as J.P. Morgan, Chase, Microsoft, and Intel are coming together to build business-ready versions of the software behind Ethereum.
This group, called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, announced its formation at a summit in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday. In it’s press release the EEA stated:
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) seeks to augment Ethereum, enabling it to serve as an enterprise-grade technology, with research and development focused on privacy, confidentiality, scalability, and security. EEA will also investigate hybrid architectures that span both permissioned and public Ethereum networks.The founding members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance rotating board include Accenture, Banco Santander, BlockApps, BNY Mellon, CME Group, ConsenSys, IC3, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, and Nuco.Additional founding members include AMIS, Andui, BBVA, brainbot technologies, BP, Chronicled, Credit Suisse, Cryptape, Fubon Financial, ING, The Institutes, Monax, String Labs, Telindus, Tendermint, Thomson Reuters, UBS, VidRoll, and Wipro, among others.
While the members of the alliance will be working mainly on private “internal” versions of the Ethereum code-base, the goal is to share knowledge and ideas that would benefit the group and the greater Ethereum ecosystem as a whole. While some early commenters on Reddit were less than enthusiastic with some comments having a decidedly disappointed tone that more was not revealed, myself I think this is huge for Ethereum and Crypocurrencies in general. Several companies have recently left the R3CEV (a different consortium working around blockchain technology) and are now pursuing blockchain solutions using the Ethereum code base and tools based upon the Solidity programming language.
I view this as the public Ethereum network is similar to the Internet and the private internal chains are more akin to the private intranets and LANs that corporations use today. In much the same way they keep most internal data and information remain hidden on private intranets, for information that needs to be shared between them or the public they can connect to the Internet, this same relationship will be apparent between the public and private chains of Ethereum.