Today Liquidshare which is building blockchain infrastructure for SME shares announced it’s partnering with ConsenSys’ PegaSys. Liquidshare is backed by Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Euronext and Euroclear amongst others.
The French startup is creating a private permissioned blockchain platform to enable post-trade settlement of sales of listed and unlisted SME shares between peer-to-peer custodian nodes. At the end of 2018, LiquidShare ran a pilot with 15 financial institutions.
“We have very stringent requirements in terms of performance, privacy and security as we are building a regulated entity operating a private blockchain to register and settle in the private and public markets,” said LiquidShare CEO Thibaud de Maintenant. “PegaSys’ blockchain offering will help us achieve scalability and finality in this stringent regulatory environment.”
PegaSys is developing a competitor to JP Morgan’s Quorum with its Java-based Enterprise Ethereum client Pantheon. The 60-person PegaSys team is working on several unique features including interoperability to enable both data and functionality to be made available to other networks. Last week PegaSys published a paper about treating separate private permissioned blockchains as sidechains potentially of the public Ethereum network and enabling cross chain interoperability.
“We are building the gold-standard for enterprise blockchain that can support multiple use cases in a private blockchain, and also have the possibility of leveraging the advantages of the public Ethereum blockchain,” said Daniel Heyman, PegaSys Program Director. “LiquidShare is one of the most advanced use cases in the financial industry, and we are excited to work with them on bringing production systems to market.”
To date, JP Morgan’s Quorum has been the first choice for organizations adopting Enterprise Ethereum. It’s long been rumored that JP Morgan would divest the technology because it’s not a good fit for a bank. Recently JP Morgan re-engineered a key part of its technology to be Java-based, like Pantheon, because Java is one of the main languages chosen by enterprises.
Last week JP Morgan entered a deal with Microsoft which will provide engineering, consulting and go-to-market support for Quorum. But the obvious partner for this was ConsenSys rather than Microsoft. The logical reason for not partnering with ConsenSys was that PegaSys’ Pantheon is a Quorum competitor.
In today’s Liquidshare announcement, it says that ConsenSys helped LiquidShare to test multiple blockchain clients. But it chose the ConsenSys one, PegaSys’ Pantheon. ConsenSys consulting division is also responsible for two of the highest profile Quorum implementations: for LVMH and the komgo trade finance network. Today marks the start of the race between Pantheon and Quorum.
Both JP Morgan and ConsenSys are leading players in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and will likely say there’s room for competition.
ConsenSys also has an interest in building bridges to the public Ethereum blockchain, a view shared by others. Spanish bank BBVA has executed multiple private Hyperledger Fabric loan issuance pilots. But it always adds a hash to the public Ethereum testnet as an attestation.
Today Joe Lubin, ConsenSys’ founder, emphasized the public-private blockchain link. “LiquidShare is an industry-changing technology for equities markets and a powerful example of Ethereum’s enterprise-readiness. The collaboration with PegaSys shows the power of Pantheon, its enterprise features, and the growing interest in using an Enterprise Ethereum built for mainnet compatibility.”
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