The Two Biggest Blockchain Consortiums Join Forces


In a significant move to propel the adoption of blockchain technology in the enterprise sector, two of the largest blockchain consortiums in the industry have announced their formal collaboration.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a consortium that sees over 300 members working to leverage open-source Ethereum technology for blockchain solutions in enterprise and Hyperledger, a cross-industry working group led by the open-source Linux Foundation, are formally each other’s organizations as associate members, the two said in a press release on Monday.

The collaboration between the two consortiums will “accelerate adoption of blockchain technologies for business,” they added in a joint statement, underlining similar goals with complementary approaches to scaling blockchain tech for industries.

As members of each other’s communities, the leaderships of the EEA and Hyperledger will have the means to collaborate across Special Interest Groups and Working Groups as well as “hundreds of thousands of developers in both communities,” Hyperledger said in its own announcement.

“EEA community members working on specifications and standards can turn to Hyperledger to collaborate on software implementations of those standards,” it added.

Launched in early 2017, the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance began as a 30-member group, rising to over 150 members including the likes of a state government from India by mid-2017. By the end of the year, the EEA became the world’s largest blockchain consortium. In the joint statement, the EEA said it sponsors the development of enterprise blockchain standards with a particular ‘focus on those aligned with the broader Ethereum ecosystem.’

Talking up the collaboration in a “time of great opportunity” EEA executive director Ron Resnick added:

“In addition, Hyperledger developers who join the EEA can participate in EEA Certification to ensure solution compliance for projects related to the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification.”

The Hyperledger project took shape in December 2015 as the largest industry-focused open-source blockchain effort at the time. Come July 2017, the Linux Foundation-led consortium released Hyperledger Fabric, its first production-ready blockchain software for industries and enterprises. The blockchain software has since seen adoption in a number of industries, including the notable example of the world’s largest shipping company Maersk deploying the Hyperledger Fabric to track shipments.

“Hyperledger fosters the development of open source software for establishing, managing, and connecting enterprise blockchain networks,” the joint announcement added.

Downplaying any perceived rivalry between the two biggest enterprise blockchain consortiums, Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said:

“For anyone who ever put a ‘vs.’ between Ethereum and Hyperledger, this collaboration shows it’s now ‘Ethereum AND Hyperledger.”

“Great open standards depend upon great open source code, so this is a natural alliance for both organizations,” Behlendorf added. “Standards, specifications and certification all help enterprise blockchain customers commit to implementations with confidence since they have better assurances of interoperability as well as multiple vendors of choice.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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