Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)

4-minutes Read

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)

The EEA is a global member-governed organisation that aims to drive and support the adoption of Ethereum blockchain technology and the development of industry standards. Their goal is to bring the community together to promote harmonisation and coordination across the industry, to create enterprise-ready solutions and to broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices.

They have four guiding responsibilities which are described on the official website as:

  • Understanding enterprise requirements
  • Building standard specifications that address these requirements
  • Evolving alongside and including the public Ethereum blockchain
  • Achieving interoperability through certification programs

The organisation was formed in February 2017 with 30 founding members including the Ethereum Foundation, Accenture, tech leaders like Microsoft and banks such as JP Morgan and Santander. Many have joined since and the members community is now made up of a diverse and influential group of developers, companies, institutes, foundations and leaders from a range of industries and from all around the world.

By being a part of EEA, members are able to share ideas and knowledge, participate in working groups, access technical and educational resources, connect with peers, collaborate on projects, and generally support the use of Ethereum.

The EEA aims to scale their open, standards-based approach through the EEA Specifications and Architecture Stack. The first version was released in 2018 and since then newer versions of the ‘EEA Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification’ and the ‘EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification’ have been published at roughly six-month intervals. These frameworks are openly available for developers to use.

Does Ethereum Need A Business Alliance?

There are three things that need to happen in order to clear the decks for Ethereum’s smart contracts in the industry.

First, Ethereum’s technology, which is still in a nascent phase, needs to mature. Security is an important pre-requisite for business applications. In Ethereum’s case, hacks at exchanges and ether thefts have generated headlines even as the blockchain’s foundation works out the kinks within its system.

Second, and this is related to the first problem, changes need to be made to Ethereum’s public blockchain to make it suitable for use in enterprises. This is important because any corporate initiative to build a smart contract platform will have to import rules and transaction history data from existing databases.

Third, governments around the world are yet to establish a regulatory framework for dealing with smart contracts. If and when these rules are put in place, Ethereum’s community and developers will have a headache dealing with their implications because they encompass multiple industries, including highly-regulated ones such as finance.

All these three items catalyse the formation of the world-wide alliance between companies to join workforce together.

Key Specifications

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Client Specification

This document, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Client Specification, defines the implementation requirements for Enterprise Ethereum clients, including the interfaces to external-facing components of Enterprise Ethereum and how they are intended to be used. Its primary intended audience is developers of Enterprise Ethereum clients.

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Permissioned Blockchains Specification

This document, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Permissioned Blockchains specification, defines requirements for Enterprise Ethereum blockchains to ensure they can be processed interoperably by Enterprise Ethereum clients that conform to the Enterprise Ethereum Client specification [EEA-client]. Its primary intended audience is operators of Enterprise Ethereum blockchains.

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification

This document specifies APIs that enable off-chain Trusted Computing for Enterprise Ethereum. The Trusted Computing specification enables privacy in blockchain translations, moving intensive processing from a main blockchain to improve scalability and latency, and support of attested Oracles.

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