In this post we showcase why Enterprise Ethereum could be the long-awaited missing link for widespread enterprise blockchain adoption and how its goals greatly intersect with our Unibright vision, services and products.
A few days ago we announced how Unibright will add knowledge and value to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) — by taking a lead in the “EMINENT task force” on “Ethereum Mainnet Integration for Enterprises”. Together with Chainlink as a leading oracle provider and Anyblock Analytics as a provider for blockchain data analytics, Unibright adds its top-notch expertise on blockchain integration into this group.
Aim of EEA (Enterprise Ethereum Alliance)
The EEA is formed by enterprises (like Accenture, Microsoft, Intel, JP Morgan, ConsenSys), startups, and academics with Ethereum subject matter experts. These parties share their goal on Ethereum:
“Together, we will learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production — Ethereum — to define enterprise-grade software capable of handling the most complex, highly demanding applications at the speed of business”
EEA aims to make Ethereum the first choice for enterprises. It is all about the 3 P’s (Private Transactions, Permissioning and Performance) and interaction between private/permissioned versions of Ethereum and the public mainnet.
Participants (e.g. a bank), can make their own, in-house private Ethereum blockchain. Similarly, another participant can also implement a private blockchain for tracking their supply chain activity. Changes on the code base on the Ethereum blockchain which is useful to member companies, can be shared. This kind of coordination and development will be governed and facilitated by the EEA.
The vision of the EEA can be summed up as follows:
- EEA will define open-source standards for the development and operation of Ethereum’s blockchain across its member companies
- EEA will facilitate and govern cross-deployment across its members for various business needs and use cases wherever applicable
- EEA members will be making their private blockchains using Ethereum technology, but they can always get subject matter experts and best practices from the existing public blockchain of Ethereum.
“The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance project can play an important role in standardizing approaches for privacy, permissioning and providing alternative consensus algorithms to improve its usability in enterprise settings, and the resources the project and its members are contributing should accelerate the advancement of the Ethereum ecosystem generally. I look forward to continuing to work with everyone involved.”
(Vitalik Buterin on EEA)
So what is Enterprise Ethereum all about?
We assume that the reader knows Ethereum as a public blockchain network transacting billions of dollars in value and having great smart contract capabilities. Fewer people are aware of the fact that Ethereum can be used to create private, permissioned blockchain networks as well! These can be used by enterprises and consortiums worldwide.
There is no dedicated product called “Enterprise Ethereum” — the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the world’s largest blockchain initiative and driver of Enterprise Ethereum, distinguishes Enterprise Ethereum implementations as “extensions to public Ethereum providing enterprise-focused additions”. This is being achieved by providing specifications, best-practices and proofs of concepts. To put it in other words: Enterprise Ethereum implements the visions defined by the EEA.
As mentioned earlier and shown on the following architecture diagram, Enterprise Ethereum adds three main features on top of Ethereum that are very much needed for enterprise usage:
- Private Transactions (data readable only by parties participating in those transactions)
- Permissioning (private networks)
- Performance (e.g. by using trusted off-chain computing to perform a computation off-chain, and store the proof rather than doing the execution on the main chain.)
Enterprise Ethereum networks don’t face the same scaling or privacy constraints as public Ethereum. They can transact much faster than the 15–20 TPS reported on public Ethereum because network size is smaller, and gas limits and block sizes can be adjusted to allow more transactions per block, scaling to as many transactions per second as other enterprise solutions.
Enterprise Ethereum is capable of supporting public, private, consortium, and hybrid blockchain configurations for use cases and applications across every industry, including financial services, government, supply chain, asset management and more.
You can find EEA’s specifications for much more detailed information on their website: https://entethalliance.org/technical-documents/
The unique Enterprise Ethereum approach
What makes the Enterprise Ethereum approach unique and so promising for enterprise usage? We outline the most important points form our view also in comparison to e.g. private networks like Hyperledger or Corda.
- Public Ethereum Mainnet: Enterprise Ethereum benefits from everything that happens on public Ethereum with the biggest and most active blockchain community in the world counting 300k+ developers and experts as well as over 2000 dApps built.
- Mainnet as a trusted middleware layer: Enterprise Ethereum networks can access the public main chain (“the mainnet”) and choose how to interact with the main chain. This interoperability with the Ethereum mainnet allows data storage across the blockchain private cloud with customizable privacy and scalability. Instead of describing a blockchain as “just a distributed database”, or “the world computer”, this approach understands the public mainnet mainly as a trusted middleware layer — integrating many private Ethereum networks.
- Tokenization, Digitization: With the Ethereum Mainnet, the most advanced and most used platform for tokenized assets is included and available to Enterprise Ethereum networks as well, building on the ERC-20 token standards and all derived implementations.
- Enterprise Ecosystem: The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is also the world’s largest business blockchain consortium with over 450 members including Microsoft, JP Morgan, Accenture, ING, Intel, Cisco, and many more. Together, the consumer and enterprise arenas of Ethereum are developing standards to promote interoperability and guide regulation to ensure the future success of blockchain.
- Business Costs: Ethereum’s open-source codebase and flexible platform enables Enterprise Ethereum to have a low-cost business model, avoiding vendor lock-in and dependence on a solution provider whose business model is to upsell and feed on deep dependencies such as cloud and consulting services. Private, permissioned Ethereum networks can be set up in a matter of weeks — a fraction of the time relative to other, difficult-to-maintain solutions.
Unibright and Enterprise Ethereum / EEA / EMINENT
Unibright’s role in the EEA arises from our long-term history of business integration. With an additional understanding of public Ethereum as a trusted middleware layer to integrate countless private or consortial networks and off-chain systems (of record), integration is a key concept of Enterprise Ethereum.
It is Unibright’s mission to help building and defining cross-platform and cross-industry standards that our Unibright Framework (and all other products) can rely on. For example, our Unibright Connector will provide adapters for off-chain systems, private networks and oracles to be integrated by the Ethereum mainnet. Our consulting services bundled in unibright.solutions will add to the products we offer and help enterprises in this new take on “Blockchain for Enterprises”.
In the months and years to come we will work together side by side with EEA to greatly enhance enterprise blockchain adoption.
We will provide more blog posts and information around EMINENT and EEA in the next weeks and months — stay tuned!
Unibright is a team of blockchain specialists, architects, developers and consultants with 20+ years of experience in business processes and integration. Unibright turn ideas into businesses, and improve processes with the help of blockchain technology.