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Digging into the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)


The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is a collaborative organization that helps Etherum developers partner with big business and government. When MasterCard and Cisco joined in July 2017, the EEA became the largest open-source blockchain alliance in the world.

Blockchain technologies stem from small groups of individual developers, meaning they are not subject to government and major institution control. This isn’t, however, stopping blockchain leaders from collaborating with businesses and government bodies. 

For developers that want to collaborate, the EEA provides community, access, and best practices.

Founding and goals of the EEA

A group of 30 organizations, including Microsoft and JP Morgan, founded the EEA in early 2017.

The goal of the EEA members, who range from Fortune 500 companies to startups, academics, and blockchain experts is to:

“…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.“

The current board of the EEA includes key individuals from Santander, Microsoft, Nuco and Accenture.

Since MasterCard and Cisco joined, a further 47 organisations have joined the now 200 strong membership of the EEA. Top tier members include Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Microsoft, and Samsung, alongside new blockchain enterprises.

Through collaboration between members and working groups the EEA, a not for profit organisation, the EEA aims to “evolve Ethereum into an enterprise-grade technology.” They look to develop open industry standards and address blockchain concerns, such as privacy, scalability, and security.

The EEA started fourteen working groups to focus on specific areas of blockchain technology, from communications protocols and standards to integration and tools.

Why an Ethereum alliance?

The Ethereum blockchain differs from other blockchains because developers can build decentralized applications on top of its technology, enabling innovation.

Ethereum blockchain technology is a form of “smart contract” technology, which businesses can use for digital agreements and the transfer of data. It has the potential to integrate with Internet of Things (IoT) projects and processes.

The digital currency Ether (ETH), created by Canadian Vitalik Buterin, is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Some predict that Ethereum’s flexibility and scalability could lead it to become the globally dominant digital currency.

According to Safello, a European bitcoin exchange, the Ethereum network now processes more transactions than any other digital currency. On November 24th, 2017, for instance, the Ethereum network processed 544,000 transactions, roughly half of the entire digital currency market’s transactions. In comparison, Bitcoin processed approximately 270,000 transactions.

Transaction fees for bitcoin, especially non-SegWit transactions, are much higher than fees for Ethereum transactions. SegWit will reduce fees for bitcoin transactions but is slow to be adopted. This, and the instability of blockchain networks like Bitcoin Cash, are leading to higher Ether demand.

Successes in Ethereum, combined with a strong community within the EEA, creates optimism for the future of Ethereum blockchains.

The EEA in action

Dutch banking giant ING is building a solution to offer more confidentiality when using blockchain.

The Zero-Knowledge Range Proof (ZKRP) tool can analyse an encrypted data set without revealing its content data on a shared blockchain. For example, a mortgage applicant applying on a blockchain based platform can prove their salary range without disclosing a precise income figure.

ING plans to introduce the ZKRP tool to both the Ethereum network and JP Morgan Chase’s Ethereum-based Quorum platform. ING has made the code for ZKRP open-source, meaning other organizations can use it and improve upon the technology.

Through the EEA, blockchain technologies are more quickly shared, built upon and implemented across the blockchain economy. 

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is the largest member in a variety of blockchain groups advancing and influencing blockchain technologies. Other successful groups include the Blockchain Research Institute, the Hyperledger Foundation, and the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.


Image credit: Ethereum


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