How the EEA Made Ethereum Palatable to Big Business

Ethereum is looking bullish

Ethereum has attracted the attention of large companies for almost as long as it has been around. But it wasn’t until early 2017 that a formal business-focused consortium came into being: the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).

The EEA created a concerted effort to get large corporates and tech providers on the same page when implementing private (or “permissioned”) versions of Ethereum technology. Thereafter, the EEA became a kind of standards organization for blockchain business, with one eye on a future state when the public blockchain might morph together with private implementations.

After all, company intranets gradually became part of the internet, or so blockchain believers will tell you.

Back in February 2017 when the EEA launched, Julio Faura, who was head of blockchain at Banco Santander at the time, volunteered to become EEA founding chairman, a position he held until July 2018.

“A few of us just got together to try to make the technology a little bit more suitable for enterprise uses,” recalls Faura, now the CEO of blockchain-based payments company Adhara. “We were all doing our own rudimentary attempts to use the technology. But it wasn’t conceived for enterprise use – rather for trustless and public use – and was very far from being ready.”

Along came Quorum

Megabank JPMorgan Chase had released its open-source Ethereum-based blockchain client, Quorum, towards the end of 2016. The bank’s privacy-centric take on Ethereum became a powerful driver for enterprise adoption, said Faura.

“Quorum came along and it was a blessing,” he said, “because it made doing permissioned networks with a consensus algorithm much easier. Suddenly performance started to go up. I remember configuring networks myself with thousands of transactions per second, so it was very exciting.”

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When I came up with Ethereum, my first first thought was, 'Okay, this thing is too good to be true.' As it turned out, the core Ethereum idea was good - fundamentally, completely sound