DEFINITION of 'Ethereum Enterprise Alliance '

Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (or EEA), launched in February 2017, brings together start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, technology vendors, academicians, and Ethereum subject matter experts to work on Ethereum as an enterprise-grade technology.

The alliance aims to build, promote and support Ethereum blockchain technology best practices, standards and a reference architecture that is capable of handling its real-world applications and usage. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Ethereum Enterprise Alliance '

Although many technology giants and businesses had been supporting Ethereum via Cloud services and working towards its adoption, most efforts towards its scalability, privacy and interoperability remained scattered until the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance came into being.

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a blockchain-based, decentralized software platform that enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party.

Ethereum is not just a platform but also a programming language (Turing complete) running on a blockchain, helping developers to build and publish distributed applications. (See also: Bitcoin Vs Ethereum: Driven by Different Purposes.)

The potential applications of Ethereum are wide-ranging, and this has attracted a number of enterprises to explore the technology. Ether, the cryptographic token used on the Ethereum platform is the second most popular cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. (See also: What Is Ether? Is It the Same as Ethereum?)

In recent times, multiple pilot projects have been initiated and worked on by member companies (and others) covering areas such as supply chain provenance tracking, inter-bank payments, reference data, securities settlement, and many others. However, the real-world enterprise use calls for collaborated efforts to build architectures that allow both permissioned and public Ethereum networks, and the formation is EEA is an important step in this direction. 

The founding members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance rotating board include Accenture, Banco Santander, BlockApps, BNY Mellon, CME Group, ConsenSys, IC3, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, and Nuco.

During Consensus 2017, Ethereum Enterprise Alliance added another 86 members, taking the total count to 116. EEA now represents well-known names from across different regions and industries, such as Mitsubishi UFJ, DTCC, Deloitte, Samsung SDS, Infosys, Toyota Research Institute, National Bank of Canada and Merck KGaA, among others.

The members of EEA represent varied businesses from every region of the world, including technology, banking, government, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, marketing, and insurance, with the total count of members now touching 300 (as of February 2018).

EEA has been setting up working groups with the task of “creating and delivering specific advancements to the development and use of Ethereum-based technologies." The total count of such industry-led working groups and committees by EEA is 17 (as of February 2018).

With a focus towards solving real-world challenges of deploying Ethereum at enterprise-scale, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is an important initiative in the adoption of blockchain and decentralization.

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