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March 1, 2017

J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, Accenture form new blockchain alliance

This new alliance is seeking to secure the place of blockchain in the near future.

By Tom Ball

More than 28 major corporations have united to form the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a collective aiming to pave the way towards a future in which blockchain-based systems can be used more easily by large firms.

Blockchain is the distributed ledger system that is behind the bitcoin, and Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based computing platform. Ethereum was initially proposed in 2013 by cryptocurrency researcher Vitalik Buterin.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance aims to improve the scalability of the Ethereum blockchain, while also focussing on the crucial question of security, which will be a major factor determining the platform’s viability.

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Although banks and financial institutions present a particular interest in the technology’s implementation, other large corporations are looking to harness the technology to streamline aspects of their businesses.

Microsoft made an initial move towards making blockchain more available with the Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) release towards the end of 2016, also offering it on the Ethereum Platform with CosenSys.

Some of the other participants in the alliance include Accenture, Santander, Credit Suisse, UBS Group, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, Thomson Reuters Corp and startup BlockApps.

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On the one hand the initiative highlights the anticipation that blockchain could be extremely effective for the progress of these organisations, but at the same time reflects the amount of work yet to be done in readying the technology for implementation.

Banks including HSBC have previously shown interest in collaboration for seeking a swift route to utilising blockchain, as they have been involved alongside seven other European banks trying to bring the technology into use by the end of 2017.

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