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What the EEA and Hyperledger Collaboration Means for Enterprise Blockchain Development

What the EEA and Hyperledger Collaboration Means for Enterprise Blockchain Development A point of view from one engineer who participated in both communities

On October 1, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and Hyperledger, two of the most influential enterprise blockchain communities, joined one another’s organizations. This is a big deal, and I know because I’ve been very fortunate to have contributed to both of these excellent communities: first in Hyperledger Fabric as a code maintainer, and then in the EEA as a code contributor to Quorum (the most prominent EEA-spec compliant client to date) and as a reviewer of the EEA spec 2.0 (to be delivered in Devcon IV). What is the significance of such an improbable alliance? And more importantly, what will this mean for the overall advancement of enterprise blockchains?

Spec-First + Code-First

First, some background on both organizations. The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is a standards body. The organization’s sole focus is producing specifications that define compliant interoperable Enterprise Ethereum blockchain implementations. Think of it along the lines of HTML5 (or 4 or 3 or …) or the newer Web Assembly (WASM) from the W3C, which is used to define valid web browsers, or even VLAN or 802.11n defining ethernet-compliant devices.

Activities are organized into Technical Working Groups and Special Interest Groups. Working Groups are “cross-cutting” technology rather than industry focused, one example being the Technical Specification Working Group, of which I am a member. Special Interest Groups are vertical industry-specific, such as financial services and healthcare. By combining wide representation from the customer space and vendor space, this arrangement matches meaningful, realistic requirements with useful and effective solutions.

Hyperledger, on the other hand, take a “code-first” approach.The code itself is the specification. It’s really an umbrella-like grouping that...

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