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November 10, 2020

Market Spotlight

Why enterprise blockchains may be less sexy than DeFi but they’re still very real with ConsenSys


In August, blockchain startup ConsenSys acquired JPMorgan’s Quorum project while the Wall Street bank also became a strategic shareholder of ConsenSys. Teana Baker-Taylor spoke with Emmanuel Marchal, managing director and global head of sales at ConsenSys, about the deal. Marchal said,

(22:11) “On Aug. 27, our company ConsenSys acquired the Quorum platform from JPMorgan. Quorum as you probably know is the leading platform for private permissioned blockchain networks. And we merged the technical roadmap with our mainnet compatible client…And so combining these roadmaps will be a powerful offering in the enterprise Ethereum space, especially as we see more convergence from mainnet Ethereum.”

It is no secret that Ethereum has been plagued with scaling issues as the community awaits its migration to Ethereum 2.0 and a proof-of-stake algorithm. Marchal discussed his level of confidence in Ethereum 2.0 solving these problems.

(30:22) “I’m very confident…not because we get the [corner] on technology but because Ethereum benefits from having the largest community adoption and support, the largest amount of research around it done not by a single company but by a combination of companies and independent developers. And [this has been proven] over the last five years. It’s capable of innovating yet maintaining the security and sovereignty of the ecosystem at work….I think there’s also a very interesting trend in enterprise…not only in traditional enterprise consortiums but also with central bank digital currencies. ConsenSys is in discussion right now with four of these central banks for the issuance of digital currency. And so that’s another trend of the adoption of Ethereum in the space.”

Marchal also discussed his outlook for the evolution of enterprise blockchains over the next 12 months, saying:

(34:19) “Maybe enterprise projects are a bit less sexy than DeFi right now. But they’re very real. So for example, in the global trade and logistics space, there is a very significant project…going live in 2018, going now to hundreds of customers….All these projects have gathered hundreds of customers and have now effectively digitized the operation of the markets between counterparties and have become references in their respective markets. So this will continue. We will see many of these networks still coming live this year. And then I think gradually, you will see a consolidation of these networks or a connection of these networks. For example, [indisc] which trades with trade execution in the oil and gas market is connected to [indisc] when it requires financing. And so that’s one form of interoperability. Although both of them are built on private Ethereum, it is two separate chains and there is interoperability between the two.”

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Gerelyn Terzo
Gerelyn caught wind of bitcoin in mid-2017 and after learning about the peer-to-peer nature of Satoshi's creation has never looked back. Previously she covered institutional investing and fintech for several major trade publications. Gerelyn resides in Verona, N.J.

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