A major joining of the minds is occurring around a new, public domain solution that could normalize a wide range of business activities on the Ethereum mainnet in the years ahead.
Big Four firm EY and Ethereum development studio ConsenSys unveiled the tool, Baseline Protocol, with a press release on March 4th. The project, which is aimed at letting businesses cheaply and privately use Ethereum, notably has mainstream collaborators like Microsoft and chipmaker AMD on board.
“The Baseline Protocol is an open source initiative that combines advances in cryptography, messaging, and blockchain to deliver secure and private business processes at low cost via the public Ethereum Mainnet,” its creators said.
The effort will thus bring large firms together with decentralized finance projects MakerDAO, Chainlink, and more in order to donate code to Baseline Protocol’s codebase.
One Chain to Bind Them All
The initiative, which will be managed by the OASIS, an Ethereum standards body, will advance Ethereum in the direction of becoming a “common frame of reference” for enterprise operations and recording systems.
A solid foundation has already been set for that framing too, EY’s Global Blockchain head Paul Brody explained:
Over the last two years, we have been advancing the state of the art for private, secure transactions on public blockchains. [Baseline Protocol] takes the groundwork we have built and starts filling in gaps such as enterprise directories and private business logic, so companies will be able to run end-to-end processes like procurement with strong security.”
Moreover, with work on the tool now being opened up and expanded, Ethereum may be on the precipice of hitting escape velocity where mainstream traction is concerned.
“Today marks the beginning of an era where the always-on [mainnet] is not only well-accepted by enterprise but demanded,” John Wolpert, a Group Executive for Enterprise Mainnet at ConsenSys, said on the news.
Already a Baseline Course on Azure
Shortly after Baseline Protocol was announced, blockchain consultancy and integration firm Envision Blockchain published an introductory workshop course on the solution on Azure Marketplace, Microsoft’s online software store.
— John Wolpert (@jwolpert) March 4, 2020
That’s good news for Baseline, as the workshop may help spread the protocol’s reach even further over time, particularly since over 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies currently use Azure Marketplace.
“Learn how the Baseline Protocol leverages a number of libraries to keep specific data and business process rules consistent with multiple systems (ERP, CRM, etc); without exposing data or code,” the course’s summary reads.
Upon the protocol’s aforementioned announcement, Microsoft blockchain executive Yorke Rhodes separately remarked that the tool was right at home within the wider Microsoft Azure ecosystem.
“For the Ethereum Mainnet we are imbuing enterprise cloud scale principles in the solution without compromising information security. Baseline is helping to create an opportunity for compelling solutions that can drive new value for enterprises while extending the value of the products our customers and partners have been using for years.”
Who Else Might Join In?
In a follow-up Twitter thread on Twitter, John Wolpert asked the ecosystem for thoughts on other firms that should be welcomed into Baseline’s fold.
Wolpert personally, albeit speculatively, listed companies like SAP, DocuSign, and Proctor and Gamble as ones that might be fruitful collaborators going forward. But with that said, what blockchain projects might be future contributors to the tool?
In another comment, Wolpert said Baseline Protocol required experts across a range of fields like “distributed systems, zk, messaging, [and] data,” so projects that specialize across these areas wouldn’t be a bad bet. When it comes to messaging, for example, the infrastructure maestros at the Status project would certainly have some insightful input for the effort.