There’s been a significant announcement in the world of enterprise blockchain today - the creation of the Baseline Protocol. The Baseline Protocol facilitates secure and private business processes utilising the main public Ethereum network (Mainnet). Think of how you could use Mainnet as a giant globally distributed message bus and you get where it’s coming from.
This is a big deal for any business that wants to utilise the immutability properties of blockchain technology. It lays a foundation for working directly with the widely available public Ethereum network in a manner that is enterprise friendly - privacy and confidentiality are first class citizens.
The fact that two of the primary backers are Microsoft and EY is a testament to the perceived value of embracing the Mainnet to support business. It’s also backed by ConsenSys with support from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and the Ethereum Foundation. The technical steering committee is made up of the likes of Splunk, MakerDAO and Chainlink.
There were a few signs during 2019 that laid the foundations for some of this work. John Wolpert published a great piece outlining the opportunity the Mainnet provides in offering “a global integration hub serving systems that work together without revealing private data or confidential business logic, even to partners.”
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance also launched their Mainnet working group. The group helps support initiatives such as this and the creation of standards for public Ethereum.
Then late last year, Forrester Research published a significant piece of research (Seize The Day: Public Blockchain Is On The Horizon) outlining the perceived benefits of public blockchain networks in industry. What was so surprising about this piece of research was that 75% of respondents felt likely to use public blockchains in the future. This level of support was remarkable given the respondents’ roles spanned Director to C-Suite, across organisations of at least 1000 employees to 20,000 plus.
This combination of initiatives has led up to where we are now, with a proposition for organisations to utilise Mainnet to solve real business problems. Of course, ensuring privacy and confidentiality of data is paramount, but given all of the innovations in approaches to zero knowledge cryptography on Ethereum (such as Nightfall, Aztec and Zeth), significant progress has been made of late with having robust cryptography to support this.
An Oasis of Projects
Baseline itself is hosted as an OASIS Open Project. Towards the end of last year, the Ethereum Oasis project was kicked off. Its goal is to create high quality specifications for Ethereum, facilitating greater interoperability and integration. OASIS is a non-profit with the goal of helping drive open standards across a number of industries.
The OASIS Open Projects program communities working on open source and open standards thrive making it a great fit for Ethereum and Baseline Protocol. Through utilising OASIS, Baseline Protocol is being supported by one of the leading non-profit standards bodies in the world.
Over the coming days, the Baseline Protocol will be opening up to the general public. In the meantime, you can: