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Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation’s open-source collaborative for the advancement of enterprise blockchain technologies, and Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA), a global standards organization focused on delivering and advancing the adoption of Enterprise Ethereum, announced on October 1, 2018 they would be joining each other’s organizations as associate members. Per both organizations, this joint effort is to collaboratively facilitate and drive the wide-spread adoption of enterprise blockchain technologies.
The joint announcement by Hyperledger and EEA is a step forward for the blockchain community. Early on, we at IBM realized that we must collaboratively develop blockchain for enterprise; we need a vibrant community and ecosystem of like-minded innovators who share the vision of helping to transform the way companies conduct business in the global economy. As proud members of Hyperledger, we gladly welcome EEA to the organization and look forward to further advancing the adoption of enterprise blockchain together.
As a founding member of Hyperledger, IBM built the IBM Blockchain Platform on Hyperledger Fabric. Fabric stood out because together we designed it with the enterprise in mind and it is based on a modular architecture, which means it has the ability to integrate and interoperate with blockchain technology that is best for each industry use case, including the possible use of Ethereum technologies. The partnership between Hyperledger and EEA will help establish standards across the projects, enabling integration and interoperability between solutions. We don’t have to look far within the Hyperledger community to see use cases of this in action already. For example, take a look at the Hyperledger Burrow project, which is a modular blockchain client with a permissioned smart contract interpreter partially developed to the specification of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Let’s talk for a moment about the value of Fabric plus EVM. There are quite a few things to be excited about with this partnership. More specifically, we are most excited because there is a wealth of smart contracts that were developed to run on the EVM that the Hyperledger community did not have access to. This includes smart contracts that involve the management of digital tokens. These tokens can represent an asset or utility and exist on top of a blockchain. They are tradeable goods and can represent coins, loyalty points, in-game assets and so on. Fabric, via its modular architecture, brings accountability to participants through permissions issued by Fabric Certificate Authority services, privacy (channels, ZKP), and private data (side-db), performance and scalability, and fault-tolerant security gained through proven consensus algorithms. As these efforts continue to evolve encompassing other projects within the Hyperledger and EEA communities, blockchain platforms associated with them will evolve in parallel — particularly the IBM Blockchain Platform.
Here’s a little more about the IBM Blockchain Platform, and why we’re excited about this partnership with EEA.
The IBM Blockchain Platform provides a managed, full stack blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offering, delivered with the security, resiliency and performance of the IBM Cloud. The IBM Blockchain Platform is a layer on top of Hyperledger Fabric, that provides impactful capabilities that span beyond the functionalities of the underlying blockchain framework. It allows members to develop and operate networks with the performance and security necessary for even the most demanding use cases in regulated industries. The platform provides industry use case code samples and existing blockchain solutions, so you don’t have to start from scratch. In addition to establishing your own networks, you can connect to existing networks such as IBM Food Trust, IBM Blockchain World Wire, TradeLens, and other third-party networks.
As Hyperledger and EEA continue to collaborate on projects within their respective communities, they will further enhance their capabilities and the broader blockchain ecosystem. Therefore, this partnership may result in blockchain companies such as IBM, to expand their blockchain capabilities. For example, the collaboration could result in additional capabilities of the IBM Blockchain Platform to include tools and resources to support Ethereum-based technologies that integrate with Fabric, such as ERC-20 smart contracts.
The Hyperledger-EEA partnership represents key progress for the overall blockchain community. Blockchain has the potential to do for transactions what the internet did for communication. Therefore, this partnership will bring two innovative communities together, working towards a common goal of driving mass adoption of enterprise blockchain and progressing the technology towards its full potential.