The Rise Of Ethereum

The distributed ledger technology (DLT), simply known as blockchain, is among the most intriguing technologies in recent times. While Bitcoin introduced the blockchain technology to the world, Ethereum that has been revolutionizing its enterprise use.

Here we try to understand the amalgamation of the two—Enterprises and Ethereum.

In 2014, Vitalik Buterin introduced Ethereum to the world as a decentralized platform that runs SmartContracts and Decentralized Applications, but without downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference. The platform employs Ethereum Virtual Machine and the Solidity programming language, which enable secure and efficient transactions.

Over the years, Ethereum has garnered admiration and evoked immense interest across enterprises. Accenture observes, “Every self-respecting innovation lab is running and experimenting with Ethereum, including IBM, Microsoft, JP Morgan, and the R3 consortium.”

Ethereum is supported by Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud to encourage innovation and adoption of the technology. However, the efforts remained scattered until the formation of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) in 2017.

The EEA brings together enterprises, startups, academics, technology vendors, and experts to work on Ethereum as an enterprise-grade technology. Its founding members include names like Microsoft, Credit Suisse, Intel, JP Morgan, UBS, Santander, ING, CME Group, BNY Mellon, Accenture, and Wipro. Some of these names (such as Microsoft, JP Morgan, and Santander) have been actively involved in exploring the blockchain technology in the recent years, while others are looking at becoming a part of the revolution that’s underway.

Microsoft believes that Ethereum is “evolving to address the needs of enterprises globally. Focusing on requirements like privacy, permissions and a pluggable architecture while retaining its public roots, Ethereum continues to widen the scope of what developers, businesses and consortiums can achieve.”

During Consensus 2017, Ethereum Enterprise Alliance added another 86 members—taking the total count to 116. EEA now represents well-known names from across different regions and industries, such as Mitsubishi UFJ, DTCC, Deloitte, Samsung SDS, Infosys, Toyota Research Institute, National Bank of Canada and Merck KGaA, among others.

In terms of specific use-cases, Toyota believes that the blockchain can help accelerate the development of autonomous driving, and even lower costs to customers. Meanwhile, Merck, the oldest chemical and pharmaceutical company in the world, is looking to equip itself for the future digital markets in health care and life sciences.

Infosys finds “Ethereum to have an extremely promising architecture for smart contracts, scalability, and network security.” Deloitte’s Eric Piscini said, “We have been investing on the Ethereum platform for a while. We are excited to actively contribute to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and drive blockchain adoption globally.”

Overall, the Ethereum blockchain technology has the potential to increase transparency in supply chains, improve banking trade settlement latency and create peer-to-peer markets without centralized intermediation.

Ethereum has seen a phenomenal surge in its price since the beginning of 2017, rising more than 2400% from about $8 to around $200 (at the time of publishing) taking its market capitalization to beyond $18 billion.

“The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is just the beginning. The world has woken up to the reality of crypto and its place in modern society. Bitcoin is finite, its ultimate allure. Ethereum is practical and efficient. Just wait and see what comes next,” said Chris Kline, COO, Bitcoin IRA. The firm launched the first self-directed Ethereum IRA in April 2017 and has already collected $3.3 million since then.

Hundreds of projects are being built on Ethereum across diverse sectors of the economy. With highly reputed names becoming a part of the Ethereum alliance, the credibility of the platform is only bound to rise. With its focus on security, privacy, scalability and interoperability, the alliance has embarked on a journey with multiple obstacles and challenges lying ahead. But like the saying goes, “the only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” This one has just begun.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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