A lot of exciting news will be coming out of Prague during Devcon. Getting ahead of the near-certain onslaught of announcements, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) today announced a pair of releases.
The EEA is a global standards organization that is working toward the mass adoption of blockchain technology by providing open-source, standard-based frameworks for enterprises. Formed in February 2017, the EEA now counts scores of businesses and nonprofits as members, among them Deloitte, Tesla Foundation, and Marquette University.
The first new release announced is Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification v2. The EEA released v1.0 in May.
This specification is intended to entice developers to write code that allows for the interoperability between different blockchains, "enabling enterprises and startups to easily mix and match applications cost effectively." The EEA hopes this specification will not only allow developers to create diverse blockchain solutions, but it also intends to use the specification to show developers there are alternatives to expensive blockchain solutions owned by large companies. This latest addition "incorporates technical contributions from the EEA's expansive member base," including work by the Ethereum Foundation.
Ron Resnick, EEA executive director, explained to ETHNews why developers might turn to the new specification:
"Every developer wishes they could be Apple and create their own world, but that's the anomaly. The odds of them pulling that off as opposed to saying, 'Okay, we have been working hard on this [code] and now we need to modify it to make it work.' Using this new spec will allow developers to add whatever they want in it, whatever secret sauce they want on it, as long as there is enough in that code that when an EEA authorized lab tests that solution it conforms to the spec and pasts the tests."
The alliance also shared the release of the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification v0.5.
This specification, according to the press release, "offers programmers a set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it easier to properly write such programs and to inspect, share and re-use them."
Privacy, security, and performance are standard concerns for enterprises considering utilizing blockchain technology. Some developers may choose to move some transactions off the mainchain to finish computation and then move a summary of that transaction back to the main chain to fulfill some of these requirements. Says Resnick:
"In order to improve performance developers can't go through all the process on the main chain because it burdens it too much. So, we need to come up with safe, secure, and encrypted ways to do it off chain. It can be done through hardware, software, or a hybrid solution."
The EEA's new specification is intended to provide Ethereum developers with a set of standard application interfaces (APIs) that will allow them to use any method they choose when computing off-chain transactions. The EEA hopes this will make off-chain computing not only easier to write and inspect, but more secure and trustworthy as well.
According to a press release shared with ETHNews, the new specification has been designed to support the following use-cases:
- "Private transactions on a blockchain between mutually-untrusting parties without disclosing transaction details to other parties who also have access to the blockchain"
- "Disclosure of partial information to chosen parties on a blockchain, while maintaining the confidentiality of other information from those same chosen parties"
- "Offloading selected transactions from the main blockchain to a trusted compute environment to improve performance"
- "Attested oracles to provide trusted external information needed for some enterprise use cases"
Both specifications are free for EEA members to download and begin implementing. Resnick will be sharing the alliance's technical roadmap at Devcon this week.