At Sweeping 90-Member Meeting, Enterprise Ethereum Gets to Work
One of the world’s largest blockchain consortiums is kicking off its next phase of development.
After launching earlier this year, and quickly growing to include more than 150 members from around the world, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is about to initiate a flurry of activity from its diverse member set aimed to break new ground on enterprise blockchain solutions
Since revealing its first working groups and a technical steering committee in July, those involved say the consortium has been ironing out the details of its governance model, gathering even more new members and working to identify objectives.
This behind-the-scenes work took a step forward on Wednesday in a second “town hall” meeting that was open to all members. There, the heads of each working group held what is being billed as the first coordinated discussion on what the process of building actual products might look like in the future.
Specifically, according to the EEA’s chairman of the board, Julio Faura, the meeting was designed to position the working groups for a series of upcoming milestones.
Faura told CoinDesk:
“Most of these working groups are launching as we speak. We’ve been basically, this past month, getting our act together as it comes to governance and the technical steering committee.”
Behind the scenes
In total, 94 participants attended the meeting, including representatives from the Token Working Group, chaired by Alex Batlin of BNY Mellon; the Banking Working Group, chaired by Amber Baldet of JPMorgan; and the Healthcare Working Group, chaired by Merck’s Fabian Wahl.
According to a copy of the agenda provided to CoinDesk, addresses were given by Faura and membership committee chair Jeremy Millar, before the chair and vice chair of each working group was invited to speak.
While the meeting was closed to reporters, Faura described the discussion as focusing on how the group will now seek to create standards to ensure the many separate projects involved can interoperate.
Given the consortium’s focus on interoperability, each member is free to build with whatever implementation they choose. Platforms currently being used by members include Monax, Parity and Quorum, said Faura, who is also head of blockchain research and development at Banco Santander.
“These working groups are not technical in nature. They may explore technical implications, of course, but they are not building different flavors of ethereum. What they’re doing is they’re discussing the use of ethereum in their respective situations.”
Also revealed at the meeting was a breakdown of the non-profit’s more than 150 members by region.
As a result of such diversity – not just across industries – but across languages and borders, Fauna said another priority topic is the creation of a governance model that describes how members relate to the groups, how the groups relate to each other and how the groups relate to the overall organization.
Currently, the rule-making process is being accomplished using traditional methods, but a level of distributed interoperability is also required. To that end, Faura said the group is considering using blockchain technologies to cast votes in a more reliable way.
Eventually, the objective is to create a feedback loop that strengthens the technological developments made by members. But that too is something that hasn’t yet been formalized, and that is instead relying on a more organic transmission of lessons learned.
“Over time, we may end up having some operational things, for example, an operations working group may start putting together a testnet for others to work on,” Fauna said, who concluded:
“Later on, we may go into things more serious, but these are just discussions at this point.”
Image via Pete Rizzo for CoinDesk