On October 29, 2018, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) announced in Prague at DevCon 4 two new software specifications that will help businesses standardize future code developments on an enterprise version of the Ethereum blockchain.
The first specification, Client Specification V2, defines the implementation requirements for Enterprise Ethereum clients, including interfaces to the external-facing components of Enterprise Ethereum and how they are intended to be used.
The standardization of performance, permissioning and privacy demands of enterprise deployments are viewed as a necessary step by the EEA in order to help the growing number of vendors developing Ethereum clients to ensure that different clients can communicate with each other and all reliably work on an enterprise Ethereum network.
EEA Executive Director Ron Resnick stated that “using the EEA Specification, Ethereum developers can write code that enables interoperability, thus motivating enterprise customers to select EEA specification-based solutions over proprietary offerings”. It should be noted that, while Ethereum has been basis for the majority of enterprise blockchain projects, 2018 has also seen developments using Cardano, EOS, QTUM and TRON, among others.
Aside from digital currency, enterprise or platform tokenization remains a hotbed for blockchain-based startups, with the vast majority of those needing an ecosystem where users can change the software they use to interact with a running blockchain, disambiguating the need for single-vendor support.
The second specification, Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V0.5, specifies enabling APIs that support private transactions, allowing offloads for compute intensive processing and permitting attested oracles. The EEA believes these objectives can be achieved by executing some parts of a blockchain transaction off the main chain in an off-chain trusted compute. The EEA currently endorses three types of trusted compute for this specification including a trusted execution environment, zero knowledge proofs and trusted multi-party compute.
Both specifications were lauded by Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger, who lent his support to the announcements. The EEA and Hyperledger joined each other’s organizations as associate members on October 1, 2018.
Behlendorf stated, “We are pleased to see the EEA reach and release its V2 and Off-Chain Trusted Compute V.05 specifications. Both organizations believe standards, specifications and certification all help with the adoption of enterprise blockchain technologies by helping customers commit to implementations with confidence …”
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The new specifications are backed by the EEA’s 500+ global membership, notably including banks like Santander and J.P. Morgan Chase; blockchain startups like blk.io; and traditional tech companies like Accenture, Intel and Microsoft.