Some of the leading names in the corporate world have formed an alliance to develop a version of the Ethereum blockchain that will be put to use in the finance industry.
The consortium, which features top names in the finance and technology industries, was formed last December and formally unveiled Tuesday Feb. 28 in Brooklyn, New York. It is christened Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
Intel, Microsoft and Cisco are three of the well-known tech companies that are members of the nonprofit. Financial giants such as JP Morgan Chase, Santander, Credit Suisse and UBS are taking part in the initiative. University of Cornell’s blockchain group IC3 and Accenture are also among the members.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance will oversee the development of a custom blockchain technology based on Ethereum. This will be engineered to serve the needs of the initiative’s enterprise members.
The consortium will reportedly be working with JP Morgan’s blockchain code, Quorum, on the project. This code, whose development commenced in 2016, is said to boast of advanced features and superior privacy. It is built to enable financial savings on transactions.
Going by presentation at the launch of the initiative, the new Ethereum-based technology will offer features that will give these major players confidence to put their services on a blockchain. These include plug-and-play consensus features, which help to ensure people involved in transactions see the same thing. The enhanced privacy is also a much-needed characteristic for the companies.
Members of the alliance are looking forward to solutions that simplify inter-bank payments and post-trade settlements. The technology will also be useful for supply chain management through tracking systems.
This is not the first time companies will be trying to create their own type of blockchain technology. A consortium of banks called R3 and the Linux Foundation are among those to have attempted same.
Some analysts, however, appear worry that initiative such as the latest one may defeat a purpose of cryptocurrency. This type of currency was initially considered a threat to the existence of financial institutions. It seeks to eliminate central financial control. But its use by these same institutions is feared may cause it to lose relevance.
NewsBTC writer Gautham notes that more and more alliance among major corporation could harm public projects. Public domain innovation may be hurt by obstacles such as blockchain patents.
However, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance looks to be different from what has been seen from other companies so far. It will not only work to create a private variant of Ethereum, but also make collaborative efforts with developers working on public projects to improve the technology.
Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin was not in attendance at the launch of the alliance. However, he reportedly sent an already recorded message calling for collaboration in areas where there are overlaps between the technologies.
The new nonprofit organization expects to launch a prototype of EntEth 1.0 later in the year. It will be overseen by a rotating board of directors picked from its founding members.