500 companies unite in Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to set blockchain standard

A group of 500 companies – including Accenture, AMD, Intel, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Samsung, Shell and UBS –  has put together version 1.0 of its standard for a business-centric distributed ledger tech based on the Ethereum Blockchain.

Whereas organisations were previously required to create their own variations on Ethereum implementations, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s (EEA) Client Specification 1.0, offers “a single, open-source, cross-platform standards-based framework to speed up business transactions, build a greater trust in contracts, and create more efficient business models.”

The EEA, an organisation that is “based on the goal of empowering the use of Ethereum blockchain technology as an open standard for the betterment of all industries, focused on the needs of enterprises”, developed its standards based on the work done by the Ethereum Foundation, which created the Ethereum blockchain and its Ether (ETH) currency. The new standards are available as a free public document to download.

The Alliance believes that by “replacing costly and ineffective multi-protocol propriety approaches, enterprises everywhere can begin developing new ways to create customer value across entire markets – from banking, law, and healthcare to advertising, communications and more”.

Its press release then goes on to say that it believes its “open, cross-platform distributed ledger framework,” that is the fruits of 18 months of collaboration within its technical committees, “will give rise to the next decentralized internet era, Web 3.0.”

By formalising a working methodology for developers of both private blockchains – where an central admin allows access – and public blockchain products, more akin to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, its specifications hope to allow the kind of interoperability that will encourage business to adopt it over proprietary implementations. The alliance also plans to introduce a TestNet facility “to further assure interoperability across member solutions”, and offer its members a Certification Program to ensure their projects conform. As well as this, it has begun work on ensuring scalability by championing hybrid on- and off-blockchain systems to decrease the time it takes to process transactions, and adding sector-specific Application Layers to ensure standardised communications between different systems.

“The public release of the EEA Specification is a significant milestone in enabling an open ecosystem of innovation across enterprise blockchain use cases,” says David Treat, vice chairman of the EEA, and managing director and global blockchain lead at Accenture.

“Accenture is proud to be a founding EEA member, and we’re ready to leverage the EEA Specification and coming TestNet and Certification Programs to drive an entirely new way of delivering value to enterprise customers.”

Julion Faura, the head of R&D for Blockchain at Santander – which has recently launched a Ripple-supported cross-border payments app – added “The EEA’s Specification and growing membership will accelerate the acceptance and deployment of Ethereum blockchain solutions in the global marketplace. The technological breadth, depth, and variety of organizations that can take advantage of the EEA’s standards-based specification will accelerate the growth of the Enterprise Ethereum ecosystem.”