Ethereum is one of the most widely used and influential blockchains present on the market today. However, for many enterprises, the Ethereum public blockchain is simply not a feasible platform on which to deploy a business network. Barriers to enterprise-adoption of the public Ethereum blockchain include issues relating to privacy, scalability, transaction speed, and both the high cost of using the network and the lack of predictability around the cost of using the network.
To address those barriers, a number of Enterprise Ethereum clients were therefore developed. These clients can be thought of as clones of the Ethereum public blockchain but with certain changes made to support Enterprise use cases. For example, fluctuating gas costs in the public Ethereum network must be considered by anyone looking to use the network's resources. In the enterprise context, this is a significant barrier to adoption. However, permissioned Enterprise Ethereum networks can effectively ignore the concept of gas entirely just by setting the default gas-cost to zero.
Enterprise Ethereum clients thus conform to the same protocol specifications as the public Ethereum network, but they add features important in the enterprise context such as permissions, privacy, improved throughput, and finality.
These are Besu and Quorum, and they are both supported by SettleMint's Platform.
Besu came out ConsenSys, a software company started by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin and tasked with nurturing enterprises towards the use of public blockchains. Part of the Hyperledger Foundation since mid-2019, Besu is designed for both private and public blockchains.
Quorum is supported by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and built, originally, by JP Morgan. Supported permissioned networks only, Quorum is designed to develop and evolve alongside public Ethereum. Because it only minimally modifies Ethereum’s core, Quorum is able to incorporate Ethereum updates quickly and seamlessly.
By leveraging the high-quality tooling built by the immensely active and experienced developer community that surrounds the public Ethereum network, Enterprise Ethereum clients stand on the shoulders of the giants in the blockchain space.
Enterprise Ethereum clients support a wide range of possibilities for smart contract development, which is conducted in an advanced and stable programming language, Solidity. Solidity provides a large variety of the data types and functions required for bespoke customization of the contracts needed to execute business logic.
Ethereum's protocol standards are some of the most proven, accepted, and well understood in the blockchain space, particularly when it comes to tokenization. For example, the ERC-20 standard, which defines the minimum requirements of a blockchain-based token on the Ethereum protocol, represents more than 90% of currently issued tokens globally. The wide array of quality, proven tools that have been built around ERC 20 and other Ethereum standards is fully available for Enterprise Ethereum clients to exploit. This means business networks built using Enterprise Ethereum clients have a high degree of stability.
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 849969.