Enterprise Ethereum matures and looks to open source community for standards


Ethereum is quickly becoming an integral part of the corporate blockchain ecosystem. As more companies begin to take advantage of public networks for business, it’s important to keep in mind that the Ethereum corporate space is still relatively new. Therefore, a number of developments are needed before organizations can take full advantage of the Ethereum blockchain.

For example, Dan Burnett, executive director of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance – an initiative that enables organizations to adopt and use Ethereum technology in their day-to-day business operations – told UKTN that Ethereum is increasing in use, deployment, application, etc. As such, Ethereum is turning into a strong chain for businesses.

Still, Burnett pointed out that standardization work has become increasingly important for Ethereum to reach full maturity. However, the challenge here is that standardization for the Ethereum business must take into account the open nature of Ethereum while taking into account proprietary commercial implementations.

Standards are required for Ethereum business growth

In order to properly lead the development of standards for the Ethereum enterprise, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and Oasis Open – an organization that aims to advance the development of open source software and standards – today announced the training. of “EEA community projects”.

According to Burnett, EEA Community Projects was formed to combine the development of traditional standards with standards derived from open source software. Burnett explained that the combination of these two development standards is necessary to accelerate the commercial adoption of Ethereum by companies:

“With Ethereum, there’s always been this interesting tension between the development community, which is open and individually led, and the business side, which is commerce-driven and often deals with regulations and complexity. The EEA community projects bring together the implementation of proprietary standards with open source standards that thrive in the Ethereum community as a whole. “

Burnett further mentioned that the Ethereum Oasis Open project, which is an Oasis Open initiative for several Ethereum projects, will now operate under the banner of EEA Community Projects.

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Why standards matter

To put the need for standards into perspective, Burnett mentioned that one of the reasons Ethereum has become so valuable is that no single entity controls the network. Yet, as this value is realized, he noted, participants within the Ethereum ecosystem will likely partner with different entities to ensure interoperability.

Guy Martin, executive director of Oasis Open, told UKTN that the base protocol is an example of standards used for interoperability. The base protocol works to coordinate confidential workflows between companies using messaging, zero-knowledge cryptography, and the Ethereum blockchain.

Martin explained that Baseline basically took its API and made it the framework of its standards to ensure interoperability between one computer language and another. Therefore, “it should be written in different languages ​​and used in different environments”. He further added: “Standards are this model and this agreement that enable interoperability and other things.”

Although the EEA community projects are only just beginning, Burnett explained that the need for interoperability around Layer Two scaling solutions has become evident: “Many Layer Two solutions are being built. on Ethereum, and now there is more and more talk about the need for something in common there. As such, Burnett predicts that Layer Two interoperability standards could be advanced as a result of EEA community projects.

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Equally important, Burnett stressed that EEA community projects will not seek to undermine what the Ethereum community has already done:

“We have not made governance changes that have diminished openness, transparency and the community nature of the work. It took us a while to figure out how to make sure that all the ridings are happy and that no one takes over the network or changes it in any way. ”

With that in mind, it’s also important to understand why open source standards are necessary for the development of enterprise Ethereum. Anaïs Ofranc, head of the Oasis Open Standards and Specifications Working Group, told UKTN that open source is the most viable and credible way for the EEA to foster the development and adoption of the Ethereum company, both technologically and standard:

“Open source lowers / removes barriers to collaboration, so it’s a great way to get input from a variety of players, explore various industry and business use cases. explore business applications of Ethereum blockchain technology. It is also an effective way for the EEA to highlight the work it has done. “

While Offranc also stressed that for open source standards to be effective, the right contributors – both individuals and businesses – must be present: “There is so much competition for talent and experience in the world. blockchain space that contributors will need to justify the time and effort spent working on enterprise blockchain projects.

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Is the Ethereum business coming of age?

Despite the challenges that can arise with standard implementations, it is notable that the enterprise Ethereum space is maturing to the point where standards are now required. Enterprise Ethereum standards are also likely to be critical once Ethereum 2.0 is completed.

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John Wolpert, Chairman of the Baseline Protocol Technical Steering Committee and Vice Chairman of the Core Network Working Group at EEA, expanded on this point, telling UKTN that the formation of EEA community projects is important because it demonstrates how the proper and practical use of Ethereum in business is developing:

“Now we have a leading industry body that works hand in hand with a leading IT standards organization and involves a large community of individual and enterprise developers and architects in setting standards for Multi-party verified workflows using the Ethereum public backbone as a verification anchor.

In the future, Burnett believes that the work carried out by the EEA Community Projects has the potential to progress to international standards bodies. “This gives us a great opportunity to work locally and then move to a more corporate environment that larger companies would be comfortable with. “