Some fresh news from New York City and Berlin: The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Mainnet Working Group has formed a key Task Force named EMINENT (Ethereum Mainnet Integration for Enterprises), focused on the standards and specifications used to integrate the Ethereum Mainnet with ERP, CRM, and other corporate systems of record.
The EMINENT Task Force is being organized with significant contribution and commitment from EEA member organizations Chainlink, Unibright, Anyblock Analytics, and others. The team is now open to accept other EEA members to join (note that as the Ethereum Foundation is an EEA member, anyone with a proper EF email can participate). If you’re not an EEA member but want to get involved in this activity, please contact [email protected] for information on joining the EEA.
Rearranging existing architectures around centralised ERP-systems towards decentralization implicates new ideas about how systems interact, what kind of (internal) states can or should be recorded in a publicly available distributed ledger, how external information is included, and how the growing amount of data can be handled and analyzed. Challenges herein involve concepts on computation, storage and messaging which bridge the gap between entirely centralized system landscapes and pure smart contract implementations.
Chainlink as the leading oracle provider for inputs and outputs of smart contracts; Unibright as the leading player in blockchain-based business integration; and Anyblock Analytics as an innovative provider of blockchain data analytics and tools; formed this dream-team to accelerate and scale the adoption of Ethereum in businesses.
The task force’s focus is to build open source available reference implementations and guidelines for mainnet integration with enterprise “systems of record”. Every software that serves as the backbone for a particular business process can be seen as a “system of record”: an information storage and retrieval system serving as an authoritative source of truth, like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, and systems supporting processes in Financials, Controlling, Material Management, Sales and Distribution or Human Resources.
The task force is set up to work for 18-24 months. Initially, the task schedule will focus on defining work packages, then expand into building best practice solutions within proof-of-concept implementations, and finally provide open-source available documentation and specification basis (like ERC standards) for further development by the public Ethereum community and EEA members. Intermediate results will be presented to the public while the task force is active.
There is potential for creating synergies and intended points of contact with other EEA working groups, such as the Enterprise Use Case and Requirements Task Force (for both understanding mainnet integration as a potential use case and finding use-cases for reference implementations), the Cross-Chain Interoperability Task Force (when considering cross-chain integration with enterprise systems of record) and the Technical Specification Working Group (when it comes to extracting standards of the concepts developed).
Tas Dienes, MWG chair: “We are excited to see all of these companies working together to realize the benefits of using Ethereum mainnet in enterprise applications. The system of record integration use case is a strong one, and this task force’s work will dovetail nicely with others such as the Enterprise Use Cases and Requirements Task Force.”
John Wolpert, MWG vice-chair and convener: “Getting the Mainnet working as an always-on enterprise service bus ( #magicbus ) is a powerful idea that security-minded CISOs can get behind. Imagine a world where you don’t need to expend massive capital to support every new partner integration. To make this work, we need experts laying down the standards for common-sense integration with enterprise systems of record. Unibright has the experience connecting blockchain to ERP. Chainlink has the experience keeping different databases, run by different companies, in a state of consistency. That’s a promising combination.”
Sergey Nazarov, Co-Founder of Chainlink: “We’re excited to work closely with the EMINENT Task Force to continually push the boundaries of what’s possible in public blockchain environments. Developing mainnet integration standards that take into account the specific challenges of enterprises is key to the EMINENT Task Force being able to leverage the unique advantages of public blockchains, while seamlessly and securely incorporating their current systems of record and key data sources.”
Stefan Schmidt, Unibright Co-Founder and CTO: “In current client projects we all see a lot of individual development due to the lack of standards. Our goal is to make life easier for enterprises and technology providers, to help building standards and to be able to focus on the special 20% of an individual use-case, rather than re-inventing wheels all the time. The setup of this task force is very powerful and we are happy to be a leading part of it.”
Freddy Zwanzger, Anyblock Analytics Co-Founder and CDO: “We are very happy to work with our already existing partners Unibright and Chainlink on solutions specifically for enterprise use cases. While our tech stack also works with permissioned blockchains, we see great potential for interoperability and innovation if corporates are building on the public Ethereum Mainnet as well.”
About the EEA Mainnet Working Group
The EEA Mainnet Working Group, a joint initiative of the Ethereum Foundation and the EEA, extends the focus of permissioned blockchains (serving as a distributed ledger within business consortia) to the public Ethereum mainnet. The group will make the case for how the mainnet can be used in a safe and effective way by businesses.
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that enables smart contracts to securely access off-chain data feeds, web APIs, and traditional bank payments. Chainlink is consistently selected as one of the top blockchain technologies by leading independent research firms such as Gartner. It is well known for providing highly secure and reliable oracles to great companies like Google, Oracle, SWIFT, and many other large enterprises, as well as many of the world’s best smart contract projects/teams such as Web3/Polkadot, Synthetix, Loopring, Kaleido, OpenLaw, Reserve, and many more.
Unibright is a team of blockchain specialists, architects, developers and consultants with 20+ years of experience in business processes and integration. Unibright turn ideas into businesses, and improve processes with the help of blockchain technology. Unibright worked for Lufthansa, Deutsche Bahn Vertrieb and others and is partnered with Microsoft and SAP.
About Anyblock Analytics
Anyblock Analytics GmbH is a German blockchain solution provider. Our mission is to build bridges between different organizations, across various blockchain networks and most importantly between people. We offer methods, tools and data to integrate business processes with blockchain.
Anyblock Analytics operates the blockchain analytics platform Anyblock Index that contains all data from all publicly available Ethereum-based networks. It is a searchable blockchain index and data source with real-time API and full SQL access down to the smart contract event level. For example, this can be used to monitor blockchain applications or to create graphical dashboards.
“Bitcoin Is A Solid Store Of Value”, MicroStrategy Founder Testifies
The founder of Microstrategy, “the largest independent publicly-traded business intelligence company,” as it brands itself, has recently made remarkable comments about Bitcoin’s ability to scale. Michael Saylor, took to Twitter to express what can be summed up as “tried-and-tested” feedback on Bitcoin’s seamless scalability features. “Bitcoin scales just fine as a store of value,” Michael Saylor, who is obviously still very bullish on Bitcoin said.
Earlier this week, Microstrategy was making rounds in the cryptocurrency space after Saylor revealed that the company has keyed into the wave of digital currencies once again, by increasing its existing Bitcoin holdings by 16,796 Bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $175 million.
Michael Saylor also revealed on Thursday that another 21,454 BTC off-chain transaction was recently carried out. 78,388 off-chain transactions were made in the acquisition process, while a significantly lesser amount of 18 on-chain transactions was all that was needed to secure the acquired Bitcoins into a cold wallet for storage. On-chain transactions often require miners to make confirmations that validate the transactions. Up to 51% of the network participants must agree on the accuracy of the transaction before the ledger is updated.
When it comes to scalability, the Bitcoin blockchain has its fair share of barriers and the delay in transaction speed caused by a high volume of pending transactions has called for solutions like the lightning network. While some developers were of the opinion that block sizes should be increased for on-chain renovation, others called for off-chain improvements. In spite of this, as Saylor observed, Bitcoin is still able to carry out transactions at a good rate, even with a 7 TPS, on-chain scaling is still moderate.
Saylor has not always been a Bitcoin advocate. In 2013, the CEO linked Bitcoin to online gambling, alerting the public that Bitcoin was a time bomb waiting to explode. He can be quoted saying “Bitcoin’s days are numbered. It seems like just a matter of time before it suffers the same fate as online gambling.”
Modifying his statement in an interview with the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, he said; “I’m really ashamed to say I didn’t know I tweeted it, until the day I said I bought $250 million worth of Bitcoin.” So far, Microstrategy has purchased 38,250 Bitcoins since July 28th when it first showed interest in acquiring cryptocurrencies. It will no longer be surprising to see Microstrategy securing more cryptos in the future as its recent Bitcoin purchase caused a 9% rally in tandem.
Report: Privacy coins don’t conflict with Anti-Money Laundering laws
Privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies like Monero (XMR) do not conflict with Anti-Money Laundering laws, according to a major global law firm.
Perkins Coie, a Seattle-based international law firm, published a report devoted to the AML regulation of privacy coins on Sept. 15. In the report, Perkins Coie aims to dispel the purported misconception that privacy coins like XMR are fundamentally incompatible with AML compliance, arguing that regulated entities are capable of complying with AML obligations while supporting privacy coins.
According to Perkins Coie, privacy coins ultimately present “no incremental challenges or requirements” to Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, other than the need to collect, retain and transmit certain customer and transactional data to the recipient. The firm emphasized that these requirements are not unique to VASPs, adding that they should remain subject to the same standards as traditional financial institutions.
The report goes on to say that if VASPs serve as custodians of the private keys of their users, they will be able to see the number of privacy coins and report on suspicious activity in compliance with AML measures. For example, Monero — the world’s largest privacy-focused cryptocurrency — essentially enables users and VASPs to disclose certain transactional details associated with a given account to a third party, the report noted.
Perkins Coie’s experts emphasized that these features are part of the key functionality built into the Monero protocol, stating:
“This enables users and VASPs to disclose certain transaction details associated with a given account to a third party without publicly disclosing that user’s transactional information. In addition, VASPs can require up-front disclosures as part of their registration process and on an ongoing basis to meet their obligations.”
Apart from arguing for privacy coins’ compatibility with AML, the report outlines the crucial role of financial privacy in general.
“Businesses rely on and expect financial privacy. Without maintaining confidentiality, commercial transactions would be visible for competitors and nefarious actors to analyze, predict, front-run, and exploit. This radically transparent type of environment would likely result in market manipulation by participants, a hindrance to innovation, and an unfair advantage for competitors and counterparties alike,” it states.
Perkins Coie’s report comes shortly after the United States Internal Revenue Service announced a bounty of up to $625,000 to anyone who can crack Monero’s privacy.
Major cryptocurrency intelligence firm CipherTrace reportedly claimed that their crypto tracking tool is capable of tracing Monero transactions. A number of industry players subsequently expressed skepticism regarding the matter.
European Union will introduce crypto-asset regulations by 2024 – a report by Saumil Kohli.
According to the Reuters report, the European Union will introduce new rules within four years to make cross-border payments quicker and cheaper using blockchain and crypto-assets like stablecoins. The European Commission is due to set out its strategy for encouraging greater use of digital finance at a time when 78% of payments in the eurozone are in cash. The commission also wants a rapid shift to “instant” payments, generally as pandemic lockdowns showed the growing role of cashless payments.
The EU executives will set out new rules for cryptocurrencies.
The European Union executives will present a draft law to clarify how existing regulations apply to crypto-assets and set out new regimes where there are gaps, the documents said. “By 2024, the EU should put in place a comprehensive framework enabling the uptake of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-assets in the financial sector,” the documents said. “It should also address the risks associated with these technologies.” Stablecoins came on the policymakers’ agendas last year when Facebook revealed plans for its Libra token. Central banks across countries are now studying whether to launch their own.
Instant payment systems should become the “new normal” by the end of 2021.
Brussels wants to make it easier to share data within the financial sector to encourage competition and a wider range of services while upholding the principle of “same risk, same rules, same regulation,” the documents say. The bloc should also have rules in place within the next four years to allow new customers to start using financial services quickly once anti-money laundering (AML) and identity checks have been completed, it said. The report further states that the commission will assess the impact of charges levied on consumers for instant payments and make sure that they are no higher than those for regular credit transfers.
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