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InfoQ Homepage News Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Announces Client Specification 1.0

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Announces Client Specification 1.0

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On May 16th, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) released the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification 1.0 which is an open, cross-platform distributed ledger framework. The focus of this framework is to create a standards-based, enterprise-ready approach to building blockchain applications while avoiding multi-protocol proprietary approaches.

By leveraging the EEA Client Specification 1.0, organizations can write code that embraces interoperability and encourages EEA specification solutions over proprietary solutions developed in isolation. In addition, the EEA Client Specification focuses on areas including scalability, privacy, and security for both permissioned and public Ethereum networks. 

Ron Resnick, EEA executive director, explains why this is an important milestone:

The EEA’s Enterprise Ethereum Specification is the result of 18 months of intense collaboration between leading enterprise, technology and platform members within our technical committee. This EEA open-source, cross-platform framework will enable the mass adoption at a depth and breadth otherwise unachievable in individual corporate silos. With over 500 organizations as members, we anticipate great things in 2018 as EEA members work with the global development community to build, test and certify solutions to grow the ecosystem.

The EEA Client Specification 1.0 technical documentation is available for download. Some of the concepts included in the document are:

  • Enterprise Ethereum Overview - Enterprise Ethereum implementations contain extensions to the public Ethereum blockchain. The additions focus on private transactions across permissioned business partners at scale that support business needs. Enterprise implementations also focus on metadata being visible across the network, but transaction details are only available to intended parties.
  • Network Layer has an implementation of the DEVp2p network protocol, which defines messaging between Ethereum clients and allows for communication by higher layer protocols.
  • Core Blockchain Layer has mechanisms that establish consensus across Ethereum nodes when processing new blocks. Unlike public Ethereum which currently depends upon a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm, Enterprise Ethereum implementations include private consensus algorithms, in part, due to less hash power being available in private implementations than that of the public network.
  • Privacy and Scaling Layers provide extensions to support enterprise-grade privacy and scaling needs. The work within this area seeks to improve private Ethereum network scaling, without building-in constraints that would prohibit public Ethereum implementations from future scaling improvements. Within the Enterprise Ethereum implementation, scaling mechanisms like On-Chain (Layer 2) can be implemented.
  • Tooling includes APIs that allow for connectivity with Ethereum nodes. The primary API is based upon JSON-RPC and is used to submit transactions and deploy smart contracts to the blockchain. In addition, APIs that communicate with Oracles, for external data services, also exist.
  • Application Layer can exist partially or fully outside of an Ethereum node where higher level services are provided, including Ethereum Name Services (ENS), monitoring, wallets and identity schemes.

Image Source: Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Client Specification 1.0 -

In addition to technology collaboration that is taking place within this alliance, EEA Special Interests Groups have been established to collaborate on solving industry-specific domain problems. Some of these working groups are focusing on topics such as advertising, analytics, banking, communications, energy, health care and insurance to name a few. 

BNY Mellon is a founding member of the EEA and Lior Glass from BNYC Mellon had the following to say about the release of the new Client Specification 1.0:

The EEA specification represents a new and seamless way for enterprises to leverage Ethereum to develop innovative, blockchain based solutions. As a Founding EEA Member, we are excited to help create a new industry standard that supports the continued adoption of blockchain in the financial services industry.

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