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10 reasons why standards matter for Ethereum - Part 1: Community Leaders

With the v5 release of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s Client Specification just around the corner and the unprecedented period of uncertainty we are in, it seemed like a good time to reflect on why standards matter for Ethereum in the Enterprise. 

To assist with this we reached out to several key stakeholders to get their views on why standards matter to their organisations.

We tried to ensure we obtained a broad range of perspectives covering those community leaders promoting standards and Ethereum, and those actually building on top of the standards. 

We’ve split the perspectives into two parts, we start with the community leaders in this post, and finish with the #buidlers in the next one.

What follows is the full quotes we were provided to ensure that the strengths of the messages provided have their full impact!

The Community Leaders

 

Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source community focused on developing a suite of stable frameworks, tools, and libraries for enterprise-grade blockchain deployments. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and Hyperledger have affiliate memberships with one another given their complementary nature - Hyperledger being part of the Linux Foundation and responsible for hosting open source projects, and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is responsible for the standards that some Hyperledger project adhere to.

"Standards are the bedrock of network-building and encouraging greater decentralization, and have been the defining characteristic of open networks since the 1960s. I think history has proven the axiom that by working together, we go farther. Blockchain technology is often highly tribal and competitive, but standards efforts can bring us together to work on the parts that don't need to differ, so that each of us can build more unique value for customers and the public. That's why efforts like the EEA are vital to enterprise blockchain's future."

Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger

Ethereum Foundation

The Ethereum Foundation promotes and supports the Ethereum platform through research, development, and education to help drive wider adoption of decentralised protocols and tools to the world that empower developers to produce the next generation decentralised applications.

"Ethereum has grown thanks to the contributions of amazing and talented members from the open-source community, many of whom make use of technical standards like ERC-tokens every day. The functionality and uses for these tokens, of which there are now more than 200,000, have continued to evolve thanks to the power of the community. The Ethereum Foundation supports innovations including standards that enable teams to contribute to the network in unique ways, and through our Ecosystem Support Program, we are accepting applications to help the next big ideas succeed."

Aya Miyaguchi
Executive Director, Ethereum Foundation

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance should need no introduction, but for context, it is a member-driven standards organization whose charter is to develop open, blockchain specifications that drive harmonization and interoperability for businesses and consumers worldwide. 

The following individuals between them have many decades of experience across international standards bodies spanning numerous industries, providing significant substance to the perspectives they provided.

“All technologies require certain standards in order to be understood, to interoperate, and to generate the necessary network effects that allow businesses to prosper. Large or small, every business relies on standards to connect with customers, vendors and partners. Banco Santander is no different in this regard. Deploying various different flavors of blockchain technology and software for our projects means that standards and well documented specifications are always something that we look for. When it comes to Ethereum variants, the EntEth specification is extremely useful, providing clear paths to privacy, permissioning, performance and interoperability.”

John Whelan
Managing Director of Digital Investment Banking, Banco Santander
Chairman of the Board, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

“By applying a global market-driven standard to Ethereum blockchain development, the EEA paves the way for business innovation across multiple blockchain clients,” said Ron Resnick, EEA Executive Director. “Enterprises and startups working with the industry’s largest developer ecosystem can easily and cost-effectively mix and match applications based on real market needs. The recently announced EEA TestNet is an important step towards delivering EEA-certified offerings, which will foster an open ecosystem of innovation across blockchain use cases, especially for businesses adopting this technology.”

Ron Resnick
Executive Director, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance 

"The point of standards is to enable an ecosystem that can grow beyond the capability even the largest participant, while making it possible for any participant to build better technology that improves the segment of the ecosystem that interests them. This offers a sustainable and robust environment to work in, where their suppliers are never so critical that they end up effectively controlling the customer rather than providing services to them"

Chaals Nevile
Advisory Board and Working Group Chair, W3C
Technical Program Director, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

The Future

With the world entering into a potentially long period of economic uncertainty, having standards for blockchain technology is more important than ever. 

With standards comes longevity and greater interoperability of technology. Having multiple vendors supporting common standards helps ensure a competitive landscape for technology buyers at organisations. This reduces the overall risk of adopting new technologies and the long term cost of running and maintaining them.

In the next part of this series, we hear from the #buidlers taking the standards and converting them into real applications.