The blockchain market is constantly changing and improving and things are changing all the time with upgrades, partnerships and other similar activities. The latest of these big announcements that change the whole market is that the Hyperledger Project has started a partnership with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).

Both companies decided to start collaborating by bringing common standards to the blockchain space. This can cause a huge shift in the industry because of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and Hyperledger ar4ee two of the three largest and most influential consortiums in the whole blockchain industry.

The third one can be considered the R3 Corda ecosystem, which is out this partnership, but this does not diminish its potential to be very disruptive and important for the market. If the partnership actually succeeds, it can actually change the market as both companies might start developing software that is compatible with each other and this will have a huge significance.

Ron Resnick, the executive director of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, has affirmed that the enterprises of the world will want to buy solutions in which they have multiple choice of vendors in the future and this is part of why this project is being made.

The 200 members of the Hyperledger alliance will be able to interact with the smart contracts and the tokens from the Ethereum blockchain, according to reports, which shows how important this partnership is.

Hyperledger was founded as an umbrella organization (at the same time that the Linux organization works) to create an open source blockchain development community with protocols that are designed to speak with each other. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, on the other hand, has about 500 members and it is the standard organization for Ethereum-based networks.

As time passed, the support for both these communities to get together has increase and this is the result: a convergence that will enable the Hyperledger developers to write code that can be within the specifications of the EEA and be certified by the alliance. The project is expected to launch during the second half of 2019.

The executive director of Hyperledger, Brian Behlendorf, has affirmed that the EEA is currently working on standards to attempt to align a whole universe of different vendors into a common enterprise picture. According to him, it is a two-way street. Both companies will contribute with each other to achieve better results.

Now, both groups will be able to work on reference implementation and to make their software compatible, which can be interesting for both parties.

A Partnership To Bridge The Gap

As we have affirmed, the Hyperledger community was slowly getting cozier with the Ethereum community. Earlier this year, for instance, Sawtooth, the codebase used in Hyperledger by Intel, added support for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This way, smart contracts from the Ethereum network were able to be used on the Sawtooth-based networks.

This effort was named Seth and it is actively being used right now. More importantly, the Fabric protocol, the main flagship of Hyperledger, is also working to be able to work with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The work has started with the Fabric 1.3 and it will allow users to run Ethereum smart contracts and use ERC20 and ERC721 tokens on Fabric.

According to Behlendorf, it is important to always keep an open mind as these technologies will evolve a lot in the future. He affirms that there are plenty of benefits from using these technologies together and that it is still “an open book”, so nobody knows what will happen. Will they merge together or stay apart? It is simply too early to tell, he defends.

In any case, this is an important first step to create a bridge that will finally bring interoperability to the blockchain world and let these companies really work together.

Behlendorf thinks that interoperability will have happened at a very high level in the near future and that will be much faster than people seem to believe. This is because it will make everything easier as soon as the companies are able to create common standards instead of trying to connect very different things.

As well as working with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, the Hyperledger devs are also interested in keeping a close eye on the decisions on the Ethereum network like using WebAssembly, a coding standard for web pages, which can make the next generation of blockchain protocols more JavaScript-oriented. The EEA is also tracking the progress on Hyperledger.

What About R3?

While it looks like Hyperledger and the EEA are getting friendly with each other, R3 certainly sees them as their competitors. R3 is made up of 200 members, about the same as Hyperledger, and it has partners in multiple industries.

Mike Hearn, an R3 lead platform engineer, has recently affirmed that the partnership is more of a marketing event than a real major change in how the platforms currently work.

While Behlendoft agrees that it is about marketing, he states that the marketing is not only for the vendor community or end-users but also for developers. Because they have to know where the organizations stand and how the industry is going to move if they want to contribute to what is happening right now.

While Resnick affirmed that R3 is “definitely invited to the party” and has affirmed that the company was invited, he does not believe that they will be in the partnership as Resnick believes that R3 is not really open source like Hyperledger and EEA and that they are not fully compatible because of this.

Resnick concludes asking “the question is: are they going to last?” Only time will tell.

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