Earlier this year, mainstream firms like Microsoft, AMD, and EY joined forces with cryptoeconomy stalwarts like ConsenSys and Chainlink to create OASIS, a non-profit standards body for contributing enterprise-friendly Ethereum code to the public domain.
At the time, the collaborators unveiled their flagship initiative would be Baseline Protocol, an open-source system aimed at providing “secure and private business processes at low cost” atop Ethereum’s public mainnet.
Since Baseline’s reveal, it’s become an increasingly high-profile project around Ethereum. That’s not just because of the impressive cast of contributors behind the effort but also because of the initiative’s potential to make Ethereum mainstream financial infrastructure.
That’s why heads turned anew this week when the Baseline Protocol published a promising proof-of-concept demo that shows the the initiative is poised to be a major contributor to the Ethereum ecosystem in the years to come.
A Dream System for Enterprises
Baseline Protocol’s new demo illustrates a novel process dubbed baselining, a technique that entails using Ethereum to “prevent data inconsistencies” across mainstream Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, i.e. automated back-office software.
Notably, then, Baseline’s fresh proof of concept shows how baselining can be used in tandem with two of the most popular ERPs around. On this point, the project’s press release explained:
“The procurement use case in the demo … highlights how two Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP can maintain consistency with each other using blockchain technology without exposing information about business activities or relationships to competitors or the public. Its use of the public Mainnet reduces capital expense while increasing operational integrity when automating business processes across multiple companies.”
Ethereum’s ran away with the lead in the smart contract platform rat race in recent years, to be sure.
Yet when things were still more wide open in that regard, more than a few debates unfurled about whether big enterprises would be able to stomach using a public blockchain like Ethereum or whether they would congregrate to private blockchain’s like J.P. Morgan’s Quorum.
The discussions have brokenly decisively in Ethereum’s favor as the project’s ecosystem has continued to rapidly mature, and the arrival of things like Baseline Protocol and the baselining process are certainly factors in the general warming to the mainstream possibilities of public blockchains.
To this end, Blockchain Research Institute co-founder Alexander Tapscott said upon the baselining unveil:
“The Baseline approach is a windfall for global enterprises looking to boost security and performance. Data is secured, contracts are governed digitally and companies can collaborate seamlessly without changing their current systems. This will change how enterprises interact in a digital setting.”
Moreover, the technique is only the latest work by the Baseline Protocol team. It most certainly won’t be the last. Beyond the project’s other solutions to come, the protocol’s inaugural release is “expected in Fall of 2020.” At that point, the system’s wider possibilities are only set to grow.
As time goes on, Baseline Protocol should make Ethereum increasingly attractive as enterprise infrastructure. But what’s notable is that big companies are already experimenting with the reigning smart contracts platform in the here and now.
For example, just this month Reddit rolled out an Ethereum-powered community tokens pilot program and Visa had a patent application come to light for a “digital currency” that could be implemented on Ethereum.
These initial forays are on the more simplistic end of the activity spectrum when compared to the more advanced processes that tech like Baseline Protocol can open up for enterprises. Even still, these developments show there is early demand for using a maturing Ethereum.