In a world where blockchain is blooming, it’s evident that many enterprise blockchain companies would step up in the game. If you have been around blockchain for some time, you just know about Ethereum. Previously public Ethereum already had made their statement with a cutting edge networking environment.
However, their public properties kept them away from the reach of many enterprises. But now with Enterprise Ethereum, they can conquer the enterprise world as well. Today, we’ll dig a little deeper into the core of Enterprise Ethereum. So, let’s see what it’s offering us this time!
Table of Contents
Chapter-1: What Is Enterprise Ethereum?
Enterprise Ethereum is the private or permissioned version of the public Ethereum codebase. Many people know Ethereum as the public network transacting billions of dollars within the blockchain network. However, many of you don’t know that Ethereum is also another popular network that enterprises use on a daily basis. And this is where the enterprise Ethereum comes into play.
Even though these private chains are separated from the public instances, they can still take advantage of the public Ethereum network as well.
However, there isn’t any single product for the enterprise Ethereum. Instead, providers offer enterprise Ethereum by modifying the already existing Ethereum clients according to the need of the enterprise. So, all of the private networks would have different outcomes based on the requirements.
For example, some enterprises may want high scalability in their enterprise Ethereum, while others may not need it. Furthermore, these requirements mainly contain – performance, permissions, privacy, scalability, and governance.
How Does Enterprise Ethereum Work?
Enterprise Ethereum stays true to their public blockchain network; however, there are added permission features along with identity management to offer a permissioned network. Moreover, it increases the privacy level with private P2P transactions to increase scalability and performance. Furthermore, it also introduces different consensus protocols other than proof of work.
So, Enterprise Ethereum won’t actually face the same problems as the public Ethereum such as privacy and scaling issues. Furthermore, they can transact even faster than the typical 15-20 transactions per second speed of public Ethereum.
Well, it’s because in Enterprise Ethereum you can change the network size, block size, and even the gas limit. Not that you have to stick to gas in order to run the blockchain network, but it’s still possible to keep this feature.
Another great fact is that the network sizing really makes a huge difference as many enterprises have a closed environment. Moreover, this means it will only allow minimal participants in the system. That’s why you get more scalability and privacy in enterprise Ethereum.
But don’t worry all your transactions would remain private as well, as long as your blockchain architecture has the feature.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance happens to be the front runner for the enterprise Ethereum blockchain. Furthermore, according to them, enterprise Ethereum is nothing more than just an extension to the public Ethereum. Therefore, it means, public Ethereum will get a lot of add-ons and have enterprise solution extensions to make work privately as well.
So, in this case, they are adding authentication for entering the network. Also, they are using permissions for viewing the ledger. It’s because not all the participants would be able to see what other users are transacting in the ledger.
Check out our Ultimate Blockchain Cheat Sheet to learn more about blockchain the easy way!
Chapter-2: What is The Enterprise Ethereum alliance?
Enterprise Ethereum alliance is a member-driven organization which offers open source development of Enterprise Ethereum according to organizations need. EEA is a nonprofit organization launched back in March 2017.
At present EEA has 300+ member companies under their bags. All of these members collaborate to advance the Ethereum implementation within industries. Not only that but they also have their influence in 45+ countries along with having 1400+ individual members!
Moreover, to streamline enterprise Ethereum project, the enterprise Ethereum alliance members have 19 legal advisories and professional industry groups.
So, you would get the best of the best tech support with legalizing your enterprise Ethereum solutions. One of the main targets of enterprise Ethereum alliance members is to harmonize consumers and businesses with interoperability worldwide.
Furthermore, enterprise Ethereum alliance members consist of businesses, developers, innovators, adopters, and leaders. So, you will get the perfect solution for your company. Obviously, every collaboration within the enterprise Ethereum alliance members is open sourced. Therefore, in the long run, it will benefit all sorts of companies.
Another fun fact is, Enterprise Ethereum alliance works on governmental companies as well.
Primary Aim of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
The enterprise Ethereum alliance wants to build a private version of public Ethereum blockchain. Furthermore, it will be for eligible members that specify their needs properly. Basically, they have four primary aims –
Open-Source Standard Instead Of A Product
EEA wants to make enterprise Ethereum an open-source standard, not just a commercial product. This way, any industry can use this standard to develop technologies. The building, promoting and broadly supporting any Ethereum based technology happens to fall under this category.
But why are they making it a standard instead of a product? There are possible reasons for this.
First of all, making it a product limits its possibilities. A product will too many features for every sector makes it difficult to control and even more difficult to maintain security. Not to mention the higher costing for unnecessary features that many sectors don’t even need.
On the other hand, if the enterprise Ethereum alliance members only offer standards, best practices, and reference architecture, innovators can easily use that to structure their model.
For example, it will enable banks to get their own enterprise Ethereum as their internal network. Similarly, other participants can also implement their own enterprise blockchain for the supply chain management.
Furthermore, as its open source, any company making a code base that can also be used in another company will get shared. This is the kind of coordination that they want to develop and facilitate within the enterprise Ethereum members.
Govern and Facilitate Cross-Industry Development
EEA would govern any type of Enterprise Ethereum deployment and facilitate it according to the enterprise requirements. Furthermore, this assistance in deployment would also encourage innovators to come up with great ideas.
Governing enterprise requirements definitely help out in this matter as many companies can’t quite grasp the nature of the blockchain. However, if enterprise Ethereum alliance members take the governing position, then many companies would get premium quality support. Furthermore, enterprise Ethereum alliance members can also make sure that the companies are following the standards accordingly.
In the end, this will offer more for consumers. For example, maybe one bank implemented a KYC platform on Enterprise Ethereum. So, in this case, the enterprise Ethereum members would help to do the same thing for another company. Ultimately, it will save up a lot of time in the development costing.
Evolve Side by Side With the Public Ethereum
Enterprise Ethereum will evolve in parallel to the public Ethereum. It will also get the best features from the public blockchain of Ethereum. This process makes sure that any updates in the public version will automatically be on the private blockchain as well.
So, you won’t have to worry about adding the feature separately to your platform. Furthermore, enterpriser, Ethereum alliance members would take care of the updating process entirely. In reality, it means it’s a hassle-free solution. Obviously, you will get the option not to add the feature if the feature goes against the nature of your network.
Anyway, the public Ethereum will also get lucrative features to form the private enterprise Ethereum if needed. Hence, both version will benefit from each other and would be able to use dApps in both versions.
So, the dApp was made for public Ethereum it will also support enterprise Ethereum as well. The enterprise Ethereum alliance will make sure that.
Use Existing Standards
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance members would facilitate all the experience form old standards into the new enterprise Ethereum blockchain. It also wants to harness open-source standards from other developments as well. But how would that help out?
In reality, the public blockchain released in 2015, so within 3+ years it did have a lot of experience than the private version of enterprise Ethereum alliance. That’s why if they gather all the information and experience form the old version, they can surely make an improved private version.
Furthermore, enterprise Ethereum alliance members don’t want to lack in any way. Standing out is enterprise Ethereum alliance members a top priority. That’s why they need all the experience they can leverage.
Furthermore, another major point is that other blockchain companies also have great blockchain standards. If enterprise Ethereum alliance members leverage those as well, they can offer the supreme blockchain experience.
What Do The Enterprises Need Exactly?
Enterprises have a different way of using blockchain networks than individuals do with a peer-to-peer network. Furthermore, they also need to maintain sensitive information in high volume. Moreover, tracking quality and holding authorities accountable for regulations are also some very needed features.
Other than these issuing IDs, tracking cargo containers, executing trades, labeling pharmaceutical items needs to be spot on. If any error occurs in the system, it would be at the cost of revenue. Not to mention bad customer experience.
At enterprises already have established a brand name, it’s more difficult to maintain everything seamlessly. Furthermore, any small error may lead to the bad promotion of their brand, which is a major risk.
Ultimately, every little need of enterprises fall under four main categories –
Many enterprise use cases require only permitted personals to see the network. Other parties getting involved would mean a confidential breach in the network. In reality, an authorized person needs to have access to certain information. Furthermore, they would also need different write, read accesses based on their employee status.
Enterprises deal with all sorts of transactional data such as price, quantity, product name, address, financial information, etc. Furthermore, these should have special access permissions based on the roles of the participants.
For example, a freight forwarder does not need to see what the shipping container has, but he only needs to know that the container arrived well.
On the other hand, banks would not allow everyone to see each other’s transaction information because that’s a massive security breach. You obviously don’t want other random people to see who you send your money to, right? That’s why privacy is a big issue when it comes to enterprise needs.
In reality, enterprises need to have the capability to process thousands of transaction every second. Furthermore, they also need to have capabilities to tolerate periodic surges in the network.
Even one delay will create a line of transactional delay, which will trigger a cascade of events. Moreover, nowadays, with all networked economies, it becomes tough to maintain all sorts of validations, collections, of diverse type of transactions.
As more people use the network, the network needs to have possibilities to keep up the transaction per second accordingly. In many cases, too many participants tend to slow things down, but enterprises need to be above this issue.
Institutions make large amounts of payments on a daily basis. However, without the certainty of the transaction, no enterprises can fully trust each other to cooperate. And so they need to know the outcome of their transactions as fast as possible.
Funds need to be good, and all the payments for that should be final. This way, both parties would be able to conduct business with each other in a harmonizing way.
Chapter-3: Benefits of Enterprise Ethereum
Enterprise Ethereum blockchain is a low-cost, flexible, open, and suited for business between multiple enterprises. Furthermore, when it comes to coordinating data, enterprise Ethereum blockchain does act like a typically distributed layer.
But it happens to come with a unique architecture that enables enterprises to integrate it into their system. Furthermore, this layer creates new possibilities and strengthens the system for exclusive businesses.
But enterprise Ethereum members would get more features than these. Let’s see what they will really get from the enterprise Ethereum blockchain –
All of the deployments of Enterprise Ethereum is completely open-source. So, any company or enterprise can fully utilize the enterprise Ethereum blockchain freely. As its open-source developers can make changes to the code or add features accordingly.
Moreover, open-source technologies have faster bug issues solved.
Enterprise Ethereum’s architecture preserves data coordination among all the network participants. Furthermore, enterprise Ethereum members would get better data allocation and trust among all the participants.
In reality, it will allow them to not depend on a central authority. Moreover, it will also allow the enterprise Ethereum members to manage the system accordingly without interference.
Backed by Blockchain as a service provider, Enterprise Ethereum offers easy and faster deployment of blockchain technology. Furthermore, blockchain as a service provider like Kaleido or Azure really makes it more convenient for easily deploying enterprise Ethereum blockchain networks.
Moreover, these solutions do make it very simple, as you won’t have to code everything from scratch. That saves up a lot of time and energy, along with resources.
With Enterprise Ethereum blockchain you will get special permissioned networks and even consortium environments with public Ethereum features. In reality, this is one of the significant differences with the public version of Ethereum.
In most cases, the network architecture allows privileged enterprise Ethereum members to work as a gatekeeper. So, it means that the person can stop executions and even control who will access the network environment.
Moreover, these private enterprise Ethereum blockchain instances are perfectly suitable for any use cases.
The MainNet is capable of handling large network sizes, although most of the enterprise deployments aren’t using many nodes to run the system. However, it’s fully capable of handling hundreds of nodes at once without slowing down. Furthermore, you can even go for millions of users under one network environment.
But there is a concern on whether it’s only theoretical or practical. As we already said that many are only working with few nodes such as ten nodes. So, technically there isn’t any reference to a viable and vast network system.
Obviously, it’s a critical factor as enterprise consortia are typically vaster network system. Therefore they would need more maintenance.
Enterprise Ethereum blockchain can achieve different levels of privacy using private consortia and private transaction layering protocol.
Furthermore, this feature will ensure that all enterprise Ethereum members can operate in full privacy without disclosing any transactional information. Moreover, it’s also an extension to the previous public Ethereum.
Many Ethereum based applications also offer this option now. So, if you are confused with whether enterprise Ethereum is capable of handling your private transactions, then rest assured because it can.
Scalability and Performance
With customized consensus, block time and gas limit enterprise Ethereum blockchain can outperform public Ethereum. Not to mention, it can scale hundreds of transaction within a second. It introduces some new consensus mechanism such as proof of authority, proof of elapsed time, etc.
In reality, you must know that public Ethereum works on proof of work, which is rather slow and power hungry consensus. But enterprises have more significant needs. And the proof of work can’t satisfy all those needs being a flawed consensus.
That’s why they introduced customized consensus for enterprise Ethereum members. Other protocols, such as sharding or off-chain computation, also increase the overall throughput.
Enterprise Ethereum blockchain comes with network instances to make sure all transactions are immediately final without any tampering. Furthermore, it’s one of the most wanted enterprise needs of all. Finality creates confidence and trust among business partners.
With an improved consensus mechanism, it’s not entirely impossible to have immediate finality anymore. So, now all enterprise Ethereum members can enjoy instant transaction finality without any worries.
The incentive layer punishes fraudulence activity and promotes good user behavior. In reality, this layer is necessary because the network needs to be fully secured from the inside and the outside.
If internal employees or enterprise Ethereum members act fraudulently, then it needs to have consequences. Furthermore, this initiate makes the participants follow the rules correctly and also get good rewards in terms of their actions.
Enterprises can tokenize any asset on the enterprise Ethereum architecture to streamline their business. So, what does it mean for your company? It means you won’t be bound only to use Ethereum tokens to fuel your network.
It mainly refers to financial intuitions as they need to work independently without the shackles of an only one token. For example, a real estate enterprise can tokenize real estate’s assets and use that on the network. It’s somewhat a digital format of any kind asset.
Enterprise Ethereum defines the structural components as standards to help fast deployment. Furthermore, the specific standard helps out the enterprise Ethereum members to keep the network fresh and solid.
Protocols such as token design (ERC20), decentralized storage (Swarm), human-readable names (ENS) and decentralized messaging (Whisper) helps out the ecosystem.
Moreover, with the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain, you would get more new standards to use in your new application.
There would be no vendor lock-in. So, users would be able to operate private networks in any business cloud environment. Usually, in case of vendors dealing with the software, they tend to have lock-ins.
It’s not a good strategy and doesn’t promote openness or collaborations. However, it’s not the same case for enterprise Ethereum. For example, enterprise Ethereum members can use Amazon web services on Kaleido’s blockchain business cloud.
All enterprise will be able to get blockchain implementation at a lower costing. This way, no organization will feel burdened with unnecessary price tags. It’s an important aspect to consider. Even though enterprises have the capability to invest a lot of money, still, in the long run, it could become a burden too.
But as enterprise Ethereum doesn’t have a high price range, it’s easier for you to deploy your blockchain using it.
Chapter-4: Architecture Stack of the Enterprise Ethereum Blockchain
1. Application Layer
The application layer is the first layer of the enterprise Ethereum stack. Furthermore, it sits on top of it. The layer contains all the components used on top of the core layer in the enterprise Ethereum stack.
It contains three sublayers –
- ÐApps Sublayer
- Infrastructure Contracts and Standards Sublayer
- Smart Contract Tools Sublayer
We’ll discuss every layer of the enterprise Ethereum stack to give you a better understanding of the private network.
Let’s start with DApps sublayer. This later contains all the decentralized application that runs on top of enterprise Ethereum private blockchain. Furthermore, the decentralized applications may use the JSON-RPC API enterprise Ethereum extension to function.
Moreover, you would also find many tools for monitoring blockchain, blockchain explorers, and business intelligence tools within the sublayer.
Therefore, the topmost layer contains mainly all kinds of decentralized application that uses core enterprise Ethereum extensions.
Infrastructure Contracts and Standards Sublayer
The Infrastructure Contracts and Standards sublayer contains all the emerging standards for the core enterprise Ethereum stack. Furthermore, this layer also offers enablers for a different application built on the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain.
It contains a few elements. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
- Decentralized Identity Standards: Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) develops different decentralized identity standards. Using these, you can store the digital identities of the participants in the enterprise Ethereum stack.
- Role Based Access Control (RBAC): This control system is mainly for authentication. Furthermore, it also helps the network restrict any unwanted users. So, the only authorized person can enter the system leading to an enterprise Ethereum private blockchain.
- Network Governance: The network governance model actually makes sure who enters the network and who can’t. Moreover, you can give access to specific nodes to specific parts of the network. In reality, it also ensures safeguarding exchanges.
- Token Standards: There are many token standards available on the interfaces. Usually, you would use the token economy using these standards. These mainly include – [ERC-20], [ERC-721], [ERC-621], [ERC-827], and [ERC-223].
- Ethereum Name Service: The ENS offers a secure mapping procedure for human-readable and simple names of the users. So, instead of only having Ethereum addresses, you can have names for both off and on chain features.
Smart Contract Tools Sublayer
Enterprise Ethereum private blockchain is getting the smart contract tools from the public Ethereum. Furthermore, this includes all kinds of smart contract tools such as debuggers, compilers, associated parsers, languages, and even methods for formal verification.
However, it doesn’t end here. There’s more where these came from! Any kind of implementation of enterprise Ethereum stack needs to offer debugging and deployment tools for the enterprise Ethereum members.
For example, typically, the public Ethereum has Truffle and Remix, smart contact debugging, and deployment tools. Also, every implementation is compelled to extend the formal verification method for the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain.
But how does the enterprise Ethereum stack use these tools? Well, for that there are many components in the execution Sublayer. Moreover, using that equipment the smart contract tools function. We’ll talk about the execution sublayer later in the article.
2. Tooling Layer
It comes with the APIs for communicating with clients. The primary API JSON-RPC is needed for submitting transactions and deploying smart contracts. Furthermore, other APIs call external services and maintain inter-blockchain operations. In short, it comes with three sublayers. Let’s see what they are –
- Permissions and Credentials Sublayer
- Integration and Deployment Tools Sublayer
- Client Interfaces Sublayer
Now let’s see what each of them includes.
Permissions and Credentials Sublayer
Here, permissioning refers to the capability of any node to join the blockchain network. Furthermore, it also illustrates to individuals for performing specific roles on the enterprise Ethereum stack. For example, only some chosen nodes will be able to work as validators. On the other hand, other participants may be able to instantiate smart contracts.
Enterprise Ethereum stack also offers enterprise Ethereum private blockchain with private transactions. However, there are different levels of privacy within the stack. Typically these include node connectivity permissioning, store private transactions, relay messages, controlling what others see, participation permissioning, etc.
It also includes cryptographically encryption for the protection of transactional data.
There are some standards or rules you need to follow while implementing an enterprise Ethereum stack. Check out some of these rules for the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain.
Enterprise Ethereum stack implementations need to specify right from the start the list of peers who would act as the nodes.
All the enterprise Ethereum blockchain needs to offer the ability for enabling and disabling peer to peer connections.
Furthermore, it also needs to specify which nodes can join the network in the whitelist. Similarly, they need to have a blacklist of the nodes that can’t enter the enterprise Ethereum stack.
You can even specify specific nodes in the whitelist using an interface. For example, it could be a smart contract transaction or using an API. Moreover, the same rule goes for the blacklist as well. So, you will be able to specify the whitelist and blacklist nodes using an interface.
However, any enterprise Ethereum stack always has to offer a way to certify all the nodes on the network. It’s basically for security and privacy reasons.
Certifying Node Identities
How do you certify a node? You can keep a dedicated smart contract for whitelisting nodes. The same goes for blacklisting nodes as well. Furthermore, you can keep another smart contract for those blacklisted ones.
Also, as the entry fee, you can enable a certain costing such as the amount of gas for entering the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain. However, it isn’t mandatory. The whitelisting and blacklisting should do the trick.
The enterprise Ethereum private blockchain also offers a specific mechanism for defining a cluster of nodes doing a particular work.
Enterprise Ethereum stack implementations need to specify right from the start the list of peers who can submit transactions. Because when it comes to enterprise, not everyone would be able to transact on the network.
It follows the same rules for the nodes where it was restricting access only. But once the nodes are in the network system, there would be some people with greater access to transactions.
Furthermore, it also needs to specify which participants can have access to transactions in the whitelist. Similarly, they need to have a blacklist of the nodes that don’t have access to transactions.
You can even specify specific nodes in the whitelist using an interface. For example, it could be a smart contract transaction or using an API. Moreover, the same rule goes for the blacklist as well. So, you will be able to specify the whitelist and blacklist nodes using an interface.
However, there’s a major difference. If a participant wants to remain anonymous within the network, enterprise Ethereum members will support that. However, the permission level of transactions also comes with its own set of rules. So, a participator can actually perform three kinds of transitions –
- Use a smart contract.
- Call a function for changing the nature of the smart contract.
- Just have simple value transitions.
There are certain Ethereum accounts that you need to maintain too! So, for that, Enterprise Ethereum private blockchain is giving a whitelist to maintain them. However, it will all come down to the factor whether or not you need Ethereum accounts for your enterprise use cases.
If you want to implement it, then you need to do it through an interface such as using an API or smart contract.
Integration and Deployment Tools Sublayer
Enterprise Ethereum private blockchain will offer integration libraries. This is for enabling more convenience for interaction using different language bindings.
Furthermore, there are some integration libraries for that such as REST API, [protocol-buffers], [Nethereum], [web3.js], and [web3j].
Enterprise Management Systems
To make sure you can fully integrate the enterprise management system, there are certain enterprise-ready capabilities. Moreover, these are some common techniques, libraries, APIs, etc.
This isn’t the only solution for enterprises in the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain. In reality, all of these capabilities include the ability to –
- Deploy using the enterprise configuration system and remote software deployment systems.
- Help to change the configurations on a deployed network.
- Audit the configurations on the deployed Ethereum network.
The management system further adds an enterprise-ready software fault reporting system for quickly addressing any faults within the system. These mainly include:
- Keep records of software fault conditions.
- Generate events to manage all the software faults.
- Accept all the diagnostic commands from the management system and run an analysis.
Different Management Systems
If you want, you can integrate an enterprise-ready performance management system. Furthermore, get yourself all the relevant performance management metrics, so that you can compare your system with the standard and see how it’s actually performing.
That’s the best part of the performance management system. So, if you see that your system isn’t performing as you would need, then enterprise Ethereum members would help you out to solve it.
Another wonderful tool is the security management system. Furthermore, the security management system logs down every event and network traffic so that you can find out any security breaches instantly.
However, you would also need historical data analysis abilities to keep track of all the historical information of the network. In any case, you run into an error you can just analyze the network history and see what caused the issue. Furthermore, it would also help you to improve your network in the future.
However, you could get support for other management systems such as Application Service Management (ASM), Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), and Common Management Information Protocol (CMIP).
Client Interfaces Sublayer
Furthermore, its language independent, meaning you can easily read and write using this data-interchange format.
However, JSON-RPC API is mainly used for linking the decentralized application to the Ethereum clients in the enterprise Ethereum private blockchain.
As there are many kinds of blockchain deployment using different ledgers and protocols, inter-chain intermediaries are necessary if you want to allow interaction within the blockchain networks. Furthermore, when other enterprise solutions offer scalability and privacy, inter-chain could be on layer 2, where it can communicate with the public Ethereum and enjoy all the benefits.
So, it’s best to go for an inter-chain implementation, so that you can easily leverage the capabilities of the public blockchain.
There are many cases where smart contracts would need to get real-world information to execute it. But how will it get it? Well, here comes the oracles to save the day. In reality, Oracle bridge the gap between the internal network and the outside world.
So, using oracles, smart contracts mainly communicate with the real world for collecting information.
3. Privacy and Scaling Layer
This the third main layer of the enterprise Ethereum architecture. It also comes with two sublayers. They are –
- Privacy Sublayer
- Scaling Sublayer
Let’s check out how these sublayers actually work!
Privacy, in this regard, means the ability to keep the information confidential while transacting with another or multiple persons. Furthermore, it will also give you the ability to choose what data to disclose while you are transacting with another person.
Enterprise Ethereum solutions would offer a private transaction option like other enterprise blockchain solutions. Furthermore, you can reach privacy on various levels, such as connectivity permissions or user-level permissions. So, in short, you’ll be able to control who can see these private transactions even if they did not participate in the transaction itself.
There are many on-chain techniques for privacy and security within the enterprise Ethereum solutions. Moreover, these include security techniques such as range proofs, ring signature, or ZK-SNARKS. Usually, all of these make the private transaction more seamless without any issues.
Off-chain Trusted Computing integrated within the enterprise Ethereum solution works as an off-chain processing unit. Furthermore, it helps to efficiently, securely process all smart contracts and transactions maintaining the scalability needed. However, there isn’t a chance for any security breaches.
So, using enterprise Ethereum solutions, you can transact off-chain with greater privacy and zero trust issues.
Many of the users of the enterprise Ethereum solutions need to comply with all the legal aspects of privacy. So, anything fraudulent happening in the network would be under the radar of the law. So, there aren’t any legal issues when you are using the network.
If someone did do something harmful or against the rules, then you can go to the law to ask for help. For example, all the banks in the European Union would need to comply with the European Union revised Payment Services Directive if they want to offer payment services using the network.
Furthermore, if they want to offer storage for personal information, then they need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations. Any enterprise Ethereum users would have to relay their intent when they are sending the transaction using the JSON-RPC API for calling the function.
Moreover, the parameter mainly indicates what type of transaction it is during the runtime. Specifically, there are mainly two types of transactions on the private channel:
- Unrestricted private transactions
- Restricted private transactions
Usually, transaction data mainly comes with two parts – payload data and metadata. Payload data is actually the transactional contents. On the other hand, Metadata is the information needed for executing any transaction properly.
However, in all enterprise Ethereum solutions, all private transactions should support these following methods –
A transaction where the payload data would be transmitted to the participants. SO, the participants would be able to read the contents directly. Therefore, that makes it a restrictive private transaction.
In the second one, the payload data would be transmitted to everyone within the participating network. However, only the direct participants can read the information. Therefore, this type of transactions is unrestricted private transactions.
Characteristics of the Restricted Private Transactions
All enterprise Ethereum solutions would offer a marking technique to keep the payload data safe. This could mean cryptographic encryption because no one other than the participants would be able to see the parameters.
It also supports a masking option for the payload data during the transaction as well. Many times there’s a massive security issue during the time of the transit. Many enterprises forget to put additional security for those moments. However, enterprise Ethereum solutions got your back on that.
All the metadata of the transaction would also have masking capabilities, mostly using the same cryptographic method like the payload data. Similarly, it also comes with securities during the transaction as well.
All the nodes which will relay the transaction but actually they aren’t taking part in it can’t store the transaction payload data along with the metadata. If something like that occurs, all the bad players will face legal issues.
For the restricted transaction, you would have to set the parameter of the JSON-RPC to restricted.
So, in any case, as you can see, no other parties except the transactional users will have access to it. Thus other users would not be able to see the list of participating address, the sending party or the amount of transaction.
Public smart contracts have a restrictive subset of the parties if multiple parties are involved. However, as the list is synchronized and notarized accordingly, it can refer to data in public smart contracts as well.
Characteristics of the Unrestricted Private Transactions
It works similarly as the restricted transaction works. However, in this case, all the work goes to safekeeping the payload and metadata for the unrestricted transaction, which means it also supports cryptographic encryption.
It also supports a masking option for the payload data during the transaction as well. Many times there’s a massive security issue during the time of the transit. Furthermore, many enterprises forget to put additional security for those moments. However, enterprise Ethereum solutions got your back on that.
All the metadata of the transaction would also have masking capabilities, mostly using the same cryptographic method like the payload data. Similarly, it also comes with securities during the unrestricted transaction as well.
All the nodes which will relay the transaction but actually they aren’t taking part in it can’t store the transaction payload data along with the metadata. If something like that occurs, all the bad players will face legal issues.
For the restricted transaction, you would have to set the parameter of the JSON-RPC to unrestricted.
However, there’s a bit of a change. In this case, the payload data goes to all the nodes in encryption format. So, if needed, the network can reconstruct the information taking parts from all other nodes on the network.
Furthermore, any mathematical transaction would need validation using zero-knowledge. This is the major difference between unrestricted and restricted transactions. Moreover, any node validating would have to participate in the zero-knowledge approach.
Basically, a zero knowledge would require a stealth address, right signature, and mixing to make sure the data is encrypted. However, this approach makes it impossible to penetrate the system. So, it still offers security.
All enterprise Ethereum solutions would come with the option to set the parameters in the unrestricted private transaction. Furthermore, it also makes sure that the participants reach the consensus on their private transactions.
Other than this it also authorizes to offer separate permissioning in case of –
- Deployment of a smart contract.
- Changing the state of the smart contract.
- Execute a simple value transaction.
Any enterprise would have demand for handling a higher number of transaction rate and perform heavy computational tasks. However, it does require a lot of scaling, doesn’t make it? That’s why there are various methods for increasing the transaction rate without affecting the network in a bad way.
There are mainly two kinds of scaling on-chain and off-chain. Let’s see what they are –
On-chain scaling mainly occurs at layer 1 of the enterprise Ethereum architecture. What it does is that it changes the Ethereum protocol to suit the transactional needs better.
The off-chain scaling happens on layer 2 of the architecture stack of the enterprise Ethereum solutions. However, in this case, it doesn’t change the Ethereum protocol for handling more transactions.
The trick here is to improve the on-chain scaling using both layer 1 and layer 2 protocols to reach an optimum transaction rate.
The off-chain scaling actually takes some of the computational burdens of the on-chain scaling. Furthermore, with too many requests in the on-chain, it gets difficult to handle that much of computational pressure. However, off-chain computing mainly saves the day.
So, all enterprise Ethereum solutions need to support off-chain processing of smart contracts and transactions.
The performance here mainly refers to the overall performance of the blockchain network. In an ideal case, even if the network usage increases, there isn’t any degradation in performance. However, many enterprise blockchain solutions can’t make this promise.
However, the enterprise Ethereum alliance members always promise that they can keep giving the same performance even if the burden increases.
Furthermore, the enterprise Ethereum alliance members hold a certification program and note down how much the enterprise actually need.
4. Core Blockchain Layer
Next comes the core blockchain layer, which comes with three sublayers. Furthermore, all of these layers are responsible for storage, consensus, and specific function execution on the network. These are –
- Storage and Ledger Sublayer
- Execution Sublayer
- Consensus Sublayer
Let’s see how these really work together and make up the enterprise Ethereum architecture.
Storage and Ledger Sublayer
All enterprise Ethereum solutions offer data storage services for operating the public Ethereum client. However, you may get the option for additional storage mainly for off chain computations.
For example, many enterprise Ethereum solutions locally store caches gotten from an Oracle or store other information relevant for the system protocols. In other cases, they could be beyond these specifications.
If any Ethereum solution supports multiple networks, it offers data storage for private transactions within the multiple networks. Furthermore, any smart contract that is operating on the private network needs to have access to other private state contracts. However, you definitely would need to a participator of that contract.
Thus, anyone operating on the private network would not get access to other smart contracts running on that network if he/she is not a part of it. Furthermore, all enterprise Ethereum solutions offer transparent and seamless storage for smart private contracts that need to store documentation. Moreover, this process gets rid of the off-chain file storage add-ons.
In reality, all the storage options have a higher level of cryptography linked to it. So, anyone storing any kind of information using smart contracts would have Authenticated Encryption with Additional Data algorithm protecting them.
We have to say that not every Ethereum implementation would have a similar architecture. Therefore, there could be an option for any provider to offer more APIs for storage facilities. It will mainly depend on your organizational needs.
You already know by now that finality is one of the main attractive features of the enterprise Ethereum. To reach the finality sometimes the architecture uses a deterministic consensus protocol.
Furthermore, here, the transactions get finalized after a certain event or interval. For example, a specific number of blocks created after the transaction got included in the block or after a certain period.
In this sublayer, Ethereum offers a smart contract execution environment. Furthermore, it’s similar to public EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). However, they are also introducing extensions beyond the public EVM environment. As now the environment has a private channel, it’s best to make sure that EVM is fully capable of handling it.
Another great factor is the ability to synchronize public states based on the public Ethereum nodes. It truly opens up new opportunities for the private enterprise Ethereum to work with the public one as well.
Also, it supports a series of storage facilities along with the compilation and execution of the precompiled contracts. In reality, trusted computing will ensure that only authorized users can use the smart contract within the execution environment of a certain consortium network.
So, many enterprise Ethereum implementation will offer this feature as well. To make it more secure, multiple encryption processes would be used to protect all trusted computation data. However, you will be able to configure many conjunctions within the consortium network.
What is Ethereum Virtual Machine?
Well, talk a little bit about what Ethereum Virtual machine is really. If you don’t know what it is by now, then it’s best to catch up from here.
Practically, Ethereum is one kind of programmable blockchain network. However, instead of giving users some predefined operations, it offers the freedom to create their very own complex operations. In this way, it operates as a core blockchain platform for numerous decentralized applications. Furthermore, this isn’t typically limited to only cryptocurrencies.
In reality, Ethereum does have a narrow sense of some protocol suits that’s makes up the whole network environment. In the center of all of it lies the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This machine can execute codes of arbitrary algorithmic complexity.
As Ethereum is a peer-to-peer network protocol, many nodes update the database on the network. As a result, all the nodes use the same instruction on the EVM to execute those objectives.
A Core Element
Ethereum Virtual Machine is truly an important part of the Ethereum architecture. It’s because it handles all the internal state and computation on the network. Furthermore, the machine also handles many account information, such as balances, addresses, block information, and gas prices.
Moreover, it always needs to keep track of all the status of numerous elements in order to make a successful transaction. In reality, it’s very important because the state of these elements mainly decide how the blockchain will function under pressure.
And that’s why the public Ethereum is sometimes called the state machine. However, as you can see, the usage of the EVM is highly important for the enterprise Ethereum too because it’s the heart and soul of the transactions of the network.
As it’s able to track the states of the network components, it’s necessary for it to integrate into the enterprise Ethereum architecture as well. However, as the nature of the enterprise Ethereum architecture is slightly different than the public one, there needs to be more functional.
Furthermore, the extra functionalities would help the EVM to stay true to the privacy of the transactions. In short, EVM is a must in the Core blockchain layer to keep everything going seamlessly.
It’s the last sublayer of the core blockchain layer, and it deals with the consensus protocols of the network. The first change you will see here is the use of multiple consensus algorithms. In reality, the public Ethereum actually uses only Proof of Work algorithm. However, it isn’t suitable for enterprises. So, that’s why they introduced other algorithms.
In fact, sidechains also support the use of multiple consensuses. To keep things more simple, during the primary configuration phase, you can specify what consensus algorithms will run in the private blockchain, public blockchain, and sidechain.
However, everything is still in process, so nothing is determined at the moment. Moreover, it will slowly phase out Proof of Work and replace it with other methods such as Proof of Stake, Byzantine-Fault-Tolerance, etc.
5. Network Layer
It’s the last layer of the enterprise Ethereum architecture. This layer contains only one sublayer called the Network Protocol Sublayer. Basically, in the network layer, there would be a peer to peer networking protocol, which will allow users to communicate with each other. At present, they have DEVp2p protocol, but in the future, they would add additional P2P protocols to offer higher security measures.
Network Protocol Sublayer
These protocols define how the nodes will communicate with each other within the new private channels. Every node in the network would need to have identification and would use Ethereum enode URL format to get advertised in the enterprise Ethereum architecture.
Furthermore, for messaging it uses DEVp2p Wire Protocol, which establishes a communication channel between nodes. It further uses a high layer protocol to mask the channel from anyone interfering. These high layer protocols are called capability protocols.
For example, the Ethreum Wire Protocol will help in exchanging transaction and block information within two peer users who are transacting. However, they may add in more protocols in the enterprise Ethereum architecture for extending the feature to accommodate organizations better.
In the case of many points to point communications happen on the network, any private node would be able to send their transactional data information to multiple private nodes at once.
Relaying Private Transaction Data
In reality, when there are multiple persons in a private smart contract, it won’t be required to communicate with all of them separately and directly. It’s quite impractical in the case of enterprises. Especially when there’s a large number of nodes on the network.
Some common nodes in this regard will be able to synchronize the private transactions transparently within the enterprise Ethereum architecture. Thus, using the same technique, all private smart contracts can sync up without any issues at all.
Chapter-5: What Are The Possible Enterprise Ethereum Use Cases?
Banking and Finance
It’s a bit of a stretch when it comes to banking industries. In reality, the cost of offering availability, reliability, and resilience is quite high because it needs to fight of equipment failures and attacks. Just imagine a scenario where a countries central bank’s server went down. As a result, the country’s overall payment clearing system would massively fail.
Furthermore, there are also large corporations that spend like nearly $200 million each year on cybersecurity. On the other hand, there are reconciliation payments (balancing between different accounts sets) that are also inefficient and byzantine.
So, not everything is running quite smoothly as we expected. Even a single transaction could take multiple transaction moves before finalizing the payment. In reality, all the burden of keeping everything uptight falls on the banks entirely.
However, enterprise Ethereum use cases can save the banking system being the shining knight as it is. If a banking system would work within a decentralized environment like the enterprise Ethereum, then there would be no point of failure. Furthermore, it won’t matter even if there is one of more server disruption; a bank can keep making payments without any issues.
Moreover, this way, banks can easily transfer directly, which reduces friction, and there’s no chance of double spending. Using the ledger, they can also get regulatory reporting. So, in case of any fraudulent activities, they can quickly find the truth.
Nowadays, global supply chains need to support everything from food and beverage to consumer goods. However, their infrastructure of maintaining all of it needs a lot of polishing up to do. Furthermore, these channels are more or less inefficient, exploitative, and even poorly tracked.
As a result, many consumers, let along enterprises face utter difficulty to account for almost half of the costing needed for it. According to a recent study, over 20% of all the seafood labeled in the USA are actually mislabeled.
Many other consumer products also face difficulties in their supply chain management because of the illegal person’s exploiting. Another issue is the counterfeit products, which not only harms the consumers but also decreases the brand value.
In this situation, enterprise Ethereum permanent ledger of a transaction would definitely help out the supply chain. Moreover, as the relative users would be able to see every little movement in different stages, it would be a blast. That’s why enterprise Ethereum use cases excel in supply chain management.
Other than these tracking products from the source to the customer along with streamlining distributors, suppliers, and retailers are few of the perks.
Wind farms and solar panels are proving to be a good source of energy; however, storing this energy creates a new problem for the energy grid. Typically energy grid isn’t that much capable of handling all the distribution of these energies. Let along prevent any damages or overvoltage. That’s why it in dire need of a chance.
During recent years the wide usage of wind turbines and solar panels gives out a perfect opportunity to build a durable and transactive and sustainable power grid system. So, in this case, Enterprise Ethereum based power delivery system would create a long term solution for the consumers as well as the enterprise.
Furthermore, if they can introduce storing energy locally and trading, it would cut a lot of costs from the utility bills. Moreover, it’s a great way to automate billing methods and settlement. However, one of the prominent features is the continuous flow of energy that is a dire need, and enterprise Ethereum use cases are a perfect solution for it.
Identity is one of the crucial aspects of our lives. Every country and every civilian needs to have its very own identification to enjoy certain facilities. Not only the government but it’s also connected to the digital world. However, as many enterprises have to deal with multiple identities at once, it becomes difficult for them to offer better security.
As a result, there are breaches, data hacks, and identity thefts all around the globe. Furthermore, these are extremely bad situations where the perpetrator could do illegal work with another person’s identity. Not only will that person face issues, but the perpetrators’ identity remains unknown.
To deal with it, enterprise Ethereum use cases can come to the rescue. In reality, the system is fully capable of handling digital identity management and storage. Not only it offers a secure ledger system for storage, but it also redesigns the government structure with paperless identification.
Furthermore, you can also make these portable and use it in any place needed. It makes way more convenient than paper-based identifications.
Currently, real estate markets face three main issues – inferior liquidity, transaction costs, and inaccessibility. Due to the extremely high pricing, the wealthy get to enjoy real estate benefits while the other classes of people find it difficult to even invest in them.
On the other hand, even if someone does try to invest in real estate, it takes a lot of intermediaries to get things done. Moreover, all these paper-based documents create a single point of failure. Therefore, many consumers face a slow process with bad players trying to rip them off.
That’s why the real estate needs an enterprise Ethereum solution to help it out. Enterprise Ethereum use cases are well equipped to handle all the burden of this sector. Not only it will get rid of the middleman, but it will also increase the liquidity. Furthermore, with the proper ledger system, the costing will lower down, giving middle classes a chance at it.
Ethereum also supports tokenization, so people can easily buy and sell their properties on the ledger using tokens.
Governments are held accounted for different economic standard as well as reassure consumer and citizen confidence. Not only that but also governments need to maintain market efficiency, infrastructure, and businesses.
However, as they run on legacy networks, things are still quite obsolete. There are many bad players among the government who exploit these old systems and get their way. In reality, the citizens are losing faith in their government and not getting all their rights fulfilled accordingly.
The immediate solution for all of these issues would be to go paperless completely. A paperless government has less chance of getting exploited. Moreover, enterprise Ethereum use cases can surely help them out.
More effective it can help out in –
- Process visa applications
- License renewals
- Bill payments
- Reducing paper load
- Getting rid of duplication errors
- Less document processing time
Furthermore, a blockchain based identity for the citizen can help everyone mage portable identities everywhere quite easily.
International Trade and Commodities
Through rapid globalization, the standard trade finance isn’t capable of digitizing and standardizing all of the record tracking systems. Furthermore, every exchange comes with its own set of unique regulations, certification requirements, and shipping specifications.
Moreover, they all need to have a proper management system, as well. Other than this, many border jurisdictions are paper-based, and there are plenty of options to use fake documentation for trading.
So, in the end, one of the parties doesn’t get the payment, or other one doesn’t get the product they are expecting.
In this case enterprise, Ethereum use cases can help offer a streamlined, secured, and paperless platform for trade finance. Moreover, it can get all the players under one platform and help them communicate within a secured line. Making payments and tracking the shipment delivery system is two of the best features.
Many issues plague the healthcare world drastically. Issues such as data silos, misinformation, lack of communication between the provider, patients, doctors, and hospitals. Furthermore, the use of counterfeit drugs and false degree often cause the lives of patients to be in stake.
So, it needs to have proper privacy and communication within the entire architecture of healthcare. And this is where the enterprise Ethereum use cases come into play. Enterprise Ethereum can offer a permissioned exchange where patients can disclose their issue without losing privacy.
Moreover, with data sovereignty, healthcare would be a faster, better, and cost-effective option for everyone. Also, it can offer a secure ledger for storing medical data with nor trespassing.
Media and Entertainment
Duplication of digital items and digital privacy is plaguing the entertainment and media world completely. Even if a person duplicates another person’s work, there isn’t a proper channel to give the creator-artist the credit they deserve.
Moreover, many artists don’t get the payment they are working for night and day. As a result, knockoffs, frauds, and studio intellectual properties are pirated constantly.
In this case, enterprise Ethereum use cases can offer protection against privacy. Using smart contracts, it can release the intellectual property right when its suppose to and avoid leaks from before; as a result, the industry would have increased revenue, and the artists would get what they deserve.
It’s needless to say that sports are one of the attractive primary entrainment for all over the globe. Not only its entertainment, but it’s a huge industry with billions of dollars in investment. However, traditionally, other industries have started to get digitized; still, this sector seems to have fallen behind.
With rigged matches, bad sponsorship failed coaching could harm potential teams or players career for good. However, enterprise Ethereum is perfectly capable of taking in this wonderful industry with many lucrative features.
Usually, there are many enterprise Ethereum use cases for teams, organizations, and fans. For example, an organization could use Ethereum smart contracts to make the sponsorship agreement more automated and cheaper.
As you already know, enterprise Ethereum architecture allows tokenization; it’s perfectly a time-saving option. Furthermore, it can offer fractional team ownership capabilities. Also, it can increase revenues and enhance loyalty programs.
Oil and Gas
Even though the world is focusing on making renewable energies, oil and gas remain the fuel for the vast array of petroleum products. Although gas and oil are one of the most globally traded commodities, still the network that holds it together lacks transparency and proper infrastructure.
There’s no proper supply chain management, which decreases the revenue process. Moreover, it creates wastage of these limited resources.
Enterprise Ethereum use cases in this regard can truly help. If the enterprises use Ethereum to make gas and oil marketplace, the overall costing of maintaining, securing, and updating the trading system would be reduced.
Other associated labors and delays due to human errors won’t be there as well. Furthermore, now big enterprises can transact a big amount in private agreements easily. So, exchanging sensitive documents and auditing them within the network would be a solid plus point.
Since written agreements started to bloom, our society follows strictures that go with legal aspect and contractual agreements. Even though this sector advanced to a greater extent, still it lakes the proper method to make contracts less time-consuming.
Creating a contract takes too much time and money, let alone leaves certain loopholes that the bad party can exploit. Also, human error makes it more difficult to pursue, and it keeps on spiraling back and forth.
More or less, every legal agency needs to deal with a signature but lacks a proper network of storing them.
However, enterprise Ethereum use cases are perfectly suitable for these issues. Now that it offers private channels, you can store signature and other sensitive information within the network without any security breaches.
It will also help out in creating contracts more easily and efficiently. Furthermore, it can also automate the whole process, which saves a lot of time.
The insurance industry is facing other issues, as well. This section impacts our economy quite a lot as many enterprises are linked with this niche. However, this industry is facing fraudulent issue along with time-consuming paperwork problem.
Anyone getting insurance needs to submit a lot of forms and wait for long hours before even getting them. On the other hand, in times of need, it takes too much time for insurance claims as well. Furthermore, the auditing process is also quite crucial, and that takes up a lot of timing as well.
Enterprise Ethereum use cases can truly shine here. With the effective private ledger system, it can get rid of the unnecessary paperwork. Also, it can streamline the authoring process, which fastens the insurance claiming process.
For example, the company could have smart contract integration as the insurance policy, and once every document is proved authentic, the money will automatically get released. So, there’s no more exploiting consumers in any way.