Welcome to our very first episode of our new series, Business on the Blockchain. We’re going to be going over some well established businesses that are dipping their toes into the blockchain space, as well as some projects that have left their fundraising stage and have actual projects up and running. The on-coming blockchain revolution is coming, and business and commerce will not be not be exempt from its effects. It has the potential to fundamentally change several industries.
And that’s what today’s project — or more accurately, alliance — is a perfect example of this oncoming change.
An alliance using Ethereum & smart contracts
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. Businesses saw this interesting technology called Ethereum and its smart contracts, which are just programmable contracts which different terms that can be defined. This technology is especially promising because it removes third party trust, potentially allowing two parties to work directly by trusting smart contracts. You’re basically taking the third parties out of the equation, and saving everyone else money in the process.
The only issue with this is that there is no set standards for these smart contracts. Of course, as long as the parties agree to terms, they can utilize smart contracts for commerce, but the Alliance is trying to standardize smart contract requirements. This allows for frictionless business transactions.
Since smart contract technology is so new, a major goal will be getting legal recognition for smart contracts. This could give even more businesses a push towards adopting blockchain technology.
Ethereum’s intrinsically trusted system is the most promising solution for enterprise blockchain adoption, given its maturity and multi-purpose design. It’s been around for a few years now and offers stability that not all cryptocurrencies have.
While Ethereum is a public blockchain, the EEA is focused on private blockchain applications. Companies store so much data and often they don’t want to make that public, for privacy or financial reasons. This makes public blockchains an unrealistic option for enterprise. (For more information on public and private blockchains, check out our rundown!)
The technology has been tried and tested in the form of many different projects over the past few years. Moreover, all of the projects built by the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance members will be open source and ready to be used by the entire community.
Members of the EEA
Like any alliance, its relevance is directly tied to its members. They have quite a few well known institutions as members looking towards building on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ever heard of ConsenSys, CME Group, Cornell University, Toyota, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Deloitte, Accenture, Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, ING, and National Bank of Canada. That was just for starters, the Alliance has now expanded to well over 200 members, creating a promising ecosystem for business on the blockchain.
A variety of industry impacts
The EEA has divided itself into several “working groups” designed to focus on industry specific implementations. The largest is the banking industry, although there are several non-financial uses being explored as well.
Banks are looking to Ethereum to help them create a compliant regulatory framework via the network. Partnerships are being fostered in this space, and we have seen banks cooperate in order to build smart contract templates that could be these banks first step towards blockchain technology!
Several of these industries have data they want to keep secure. Entities ranging from insurance companies to universities have lots of data they want to keep secure. They are turning to the blockchain for data permanence and security.
You have major manufacturers and distributors specifically looking at Ethereum use cases for the supply chain in order to address traditional pain points with a more frictionless distribution system.
The legal industry has recognized the potential of smart contracts and are looking to create standards around the technology so they can get ready for eventual implementation.
And those aren’t the only projects that the Alliance is exploring. We simply don’t have the time to list them all. Business has recognized the potential of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and they are looking to research every potential use of this technology and begin implementing it.
The legal and business landscape around blockchain is still forming. With organizations like the EEA, people active in the Ethereum community are given an avenue to shape the regulation around this new technology. There are power in numbers, a fact EEA certainly knows.
Business on the Blockchain is a new series where we explore how industry leaders are approaching blockchain technology. The disruption that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are causing is being noticed by large corporations and public entities. As a result, existing businesses are now being forced to explore the industry impact of cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and the blockchain.
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