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Forrester Research: 90% of Blockchain Initiatives by US Firms Will Never Become Operational

About 90 percent of currently active U.S. companies’ blockchain initiatives will ultimately be abandoned. This statistic comes from a study by Forrester Research, cited by Bloomberg in an article July 31.

The U.S. market research firm Forrester Research predicts that most of blockchain-powered projects initiated by American companies will be put on hold in 2018. Specifically, Forrester Research estimates that in a whopping 90 percent of cases, the projects will “never become part of a company’s operations.”

The researcher also claims that “some companies,” which have been striving to incorporate the widely touted distributed ledger technology (DLT) in their businesses, are now pulling back and scaling down their ambitions.

The most recent study marks at least the second instance in which Forrester has predicted a grim future for blockchain applications in corporate America. Back in 2017, the company published an article entitled “Predictions 2018: The Blockchain Revolution Will Have To Wait A Little Longer,” claiming that 2018 will be “the year of reckoning for blockchain initiatives.”

“Those who failed to translate the headlines into reality will write off their investments and give up, while others that have a deep understanding of the technology and its transformational potential in the long run will continue to forge ahead.”

According to Bloomberg, Ron Resnick, the first executive director of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), argued that blockchain development might still experience an uptick in 2019, saying that “[companies] are still testing the waters.”

Previously, Executive Director of Hyperledger Brian Behlendorf claimed that the “coming wave” of blockchain applications will not come from established tech giants, such as Google, Amazon or Facebook, as these companies “have a blind spot when it comes to blockchain.”

Earlier in July, former Wall Street executive Mike Novogratz predicted that mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain is “still five to six years away.”

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Public or Private? Blockchain Distinctions Are Falling Out of Fashion

“Convergence” may mean different things to different people in blockchain, but it’s a word that’s appearing more in more in public rhetoric of late.

For some, it simply means that innovations developed on a public blockchain powered by a cryptocurrency can be leveraged on a private blockchain used by enterprises, and vice versa. But to others, the rise of the term shows that the lines between these categories, once starkly drawn, are starting to fade.

As companies start to recognize the merits of public chains; as new technology enables different types of ledgers to communicate with each other; and as central banks consider issuing digital versions of their fiat currencies that could be used to settle trades in blockchain assets; nomenclature is evolving to fit the times.

“I would like to see in a year from now for most people to think it’s absurd to say ‘private networks’ or ‘public networks,'” John Wolpert, the former blockchain lead at IBM, said at Consensus 2018.

Back in 2015, the industry needed to diverge into public and private spheres, Wolpert said. But to him, it’s becoming clear that the industry is now heading the other way.

His own CV supports this idea, as he left IBM last fall to take up the new position of “seeker of awesomeness” at ethereum design studio ConsenSys. Indeed, seeing big names from world of enterprise blockchains jump over to join startups focused on the public domain is a telling sign.

In another example, former JP Morgan blockchain lead Amber Baldet’s new project, Clovyr, is all about building the middleware developer tooling and connectivity services to make convergence a reality.

There are plenty of rational reasons for people to use private networks, Baldet told CoinDesk, whether it’s for added privacy, control over corporate governance, or “a computationally expensive game to get performance and cost benefits.”

“As public networks gain value – it becomes where their customers are – connectivity will be an obvious evolution,” she said, adding:

“Pressuring businesses to move core operations to public chains is unnecessary; soon enough the lines between public and private will blur into a pragmatic and functional internet of value.”

Internet/intranet analogy

So, what does this mean in practice? Even in the highly regulated, cryptocurrency-averse world of banking, some seasoned technologists see a potential osmosis between public, open-access blockchains and private member-access networks somewhere on the horizon.

John Whelan, director of Banco Santander’s Blockchain Lab, drew on the internet-intranet analogy, often used by cryptocurrency proponents to argue private blockchains will one day dissolve to insignificance.

“I think we may see – although not guaranteed – some kind of convergence between private permissioned ledger networks,” said Whelan. “For private and permissioned [version], I would use the intranet analogy, and the public networks I would use as the internet analogy, with suitable bridging protocols, which are in development.”

However, Whelan said the important first part of the convergence story must take place within the banks themselves: a massive reduction in the number of ledgers, duplicated technology and reconciliation.

“The financial industry is moving from an architecture of many ledgers, to one of fewer ledgers. It’s that simple,” he said.

Others are more skeptical about the notion of public-private convergence at the network level, but still see the two spheres influencing each other.

“On the product level, I think we can expect to see continued cross-pollination of ideas and technologies between public and private blockchains, since there is a great deal of technical overlap between these two types of system,” said Gideon Greenspan, CEO of MultiChain, a startup that helps organizations build and deploy blockchains.

But the scalability, confidentiality and governance requirements are completely different for public and private chains, he added.

“I rarely, if ever, hear of a use case that could be sensibly implemented on either,” said Greenspan. “The closest I’ve seen is using a public chain to notarize a hash representing the state of a private chain, and this can make sense for extra security, but I don’t really think you can call it ‘convergence.'”

Feedback loop

Of course, such views aren’t stopping progress in the form of collaboration. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), formed in 2017 to develop standards for private forks of ethereum, has become one of the more visible convergence-seekers backed by major banks and businesses. 

The group recently released a long-awaited spec, plus details of how its architecture stack dovetails with the work of the Ethereum Foundation, the nonprofit that promotes the development of the public ethereum cryptocurrency. All this has occurred under the guidance of new EEA chief Ron Resnick.

The EEA sees a positive feedback loop between features developed for enterprises and the ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) that are floated by developers for the public network.

“As more standards are established by the EEA, I’m sure more opportunities to base standards on EIPs and vice versa will start to emerge,” Conor Svensson, co-chair of the integration and tools working group at EEA, said. “I am optimistic we will see this starting to happen in 2018.”

Perhaps the most prominent example of this so far has been work that Amis Technologies did with its implementation of Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance for the ethereum client Go Ethereum (Geth).

This ethereum improvement proposal (EIP-650) added a new consensus algorithm to Geth, one better suited to financial enterprises than existing proof-of-work or proof of authority. And it was then added to Quorum, the private blockchain platform developed by JP Morgan.

Svensson also pointed to identity as another area where public and private chain boundaries could theoretically be crossed, since identity on a blockchain is always protected by a private key.  

“As long as the private key remains secure, you have a notion of identity that can potentially be used on multiple chains (provided they use the same underlying cryptographic algorithms),” he said.

However, “whether you should use one identity across multiple chains is another question entirely,” he said.

Cash on ledger

Still, a prerequisite for full-fledged convergence of public and private chains would be the development of fiat cash on distributed ledgers, or so many seem to agree.

This would allow all sorts of digital assets and blockchain-based financial instruments to flow through the systems more easily since users would trust a government-backed currency more than a volatile cryptocurrency.

“Cash on the ledger is an essential if not the essential building block for commerce on ledger platforms,” said Clark Thompson, global solutions architecture lead at ConsenSys.

The ethereum-based app builder has a dedicated team of experts looking at all varieties of fiat cash on distributed ledgers, and it’s working with UnionBank of the Philippines to create a low-cost tokenized fiat solution for rural banking. In time, this could be extended to cover a larger network of banks and perhaps even the central bank, ConsenSys says.

Indeed, while fiat currency held in a traditional bank account can be represented as a token on a distributed ledger, this setup creates redemption risk, which might put off some investors. The ultimate digital cash, from enterprises’ point of view, would be a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC).

“Central bank policy changes are necessary to permit central bank-issued tokenized fiat, which has the advantage that (like cash) it carries no counterparty risk,” said Thomson.

It’s anybody’s guess how long such a change would take, though, as central banks themselves are still tentatively exploring the concept.

But Whelan at Santander (a member of the Utility Settlement Coin consortium, which is attempting to make central bank money on distributed ledgers a reality) said he believes there could be a CBDC on a distributed ledger “within a few years.”

What remains to be seen is whether it is deployed directly by central banks, or uses a kind of two-step process where commercial banks essentially lend money into the system.

Whelan concluded:

“This is really a policy question for the central banks to examine. That’s not a technology question.”

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The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Releases Client Specifications To Facilitate Interoperability

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has released the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification 1.0 today, May 16, that will enable interoperability for companies that use Ethereum blockchain-based solutions.

The EEA, which was formed in March 2017 by Santander, JPMorgan, and a variety of other members, now numbers 500 enterprise members. It focuses on improving the privacy, scalability, and security of Ethereum blockchain applications.

At the beginning of May, the EEA’s Enterprise Ethereum Architectural Stack went live, a software stack which standardizes the specifications for business applications based on Ethereum. The next steps for the EEA will be building a testnet to test proofs-of-concept and a revision of the specifications ideally by the end of the year, followed by a launch of an EEA certification program.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, EEA head Ron Resnick, said that the EE Client Specification is “basically the catapult that launches the whole ecosystem”:

“Without interoperability, the big players aren’t going to want to jump in, because they don’t want to be locked in to one particular vendor for a proprietary solution […] It attracts more and more of the bigger players to come in and make a commitment, because they feel a little more safe that they’re not going to get stuck.”

Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, said that the release of the specifications is “yet one more way in which the Hyperledger and Ethereum communities are not competitors but allies:”

“We’re very happy that the Hyperledger Sawtooth developer community has the goal of EEA 1.0 compatibility.”

Last week, the Blockchain Research Office of China’s IT Ministry announced that they aimed to release nationwide blockchain standards by the end of 2019. When asked about the compatibility of EEA specifications for the ETH blockchain and potential blockchain standards coming from China, Resnick told Cointelegraph that “we would have to come up with a way to partner:”

“At the end of the day, if 500 companies, and now let’s say we double it to 1000, if all the global countries in the world are basing their solutions on Enterprise Ethereum specification, I would suggest that if China is working on something, they would want interoperability […] All we would do is engage with them, we would share. Our spec, we can have it […] I would think that they would probably want to take a look.”

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EEA Releases Standardized Architecture Stack For Privacy-Focused Web Apps On Ethereum

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has released their Enterprise Ethereum Architecture Stack (EEAS) today, May 2. The new software stack standardizes the specifications for Ethereum-based business applications for the Web 3.0 era.

The EEA is a group of companies focused on improving the privacy, scalability and security of Ethereum blockchain applications. Formed in February 2017 by Santander, JP Morgan and a number of other founders, the organization has grown to over 500 members by 2018.

The EEAS, which the EEA has been developing for a year and a half, will serve as a “framework element of the world’s decentralized operating system,” according to Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, EEA head Ron Resnick explained the importance of having a standardized architecture:

“Basically, this conceptual framework characterizes and standardizes all the components from the EEA Ethereum ecosystem, and it extends the concept in technologies from the public Ethereum as the part of our enterprise Ethereum spec. So it’s all the building blocks that we now organize in a framework, which creates an architecture that software programmers can build their solutions.”

Following the release of the EEAS will be a TestNet and a certification program that will allow a “higher level of confidence” for enterprise operations.

Resnick was appointed head of the EEA as its first executive director in January of this year, coming from a background of work in the telecommunications industry and the Airfuel Alliance. The alliance includes founding members JPMorgan and Santander, newer members like Mastercard, Intel and Microsoft, and a number of Ether investors and Blockchain startups.

Founding EEA member from Santander, heading Santander’s R&D for Innovation Initiatives as well as serving as chairman of the EEA, said in the press release sent to CT that “the Alliance’s mission from day one has been to build the framework that could be used to meet all the needs of its members.” Earlier this month, Santander partnered with Ripple to launch a blockchain payment network to cut down on cost and time associated with international transfers.

At the end of March, the China’s IT ministry released a document of objectives for development of the technology sector, including a recommendation for standards in blockchain architectures, “data format specification, interoperability, and smart contracts,” as well as the formation of international standards for blockchain tech.

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Blockchain Alliance R3 Launches Training Consortium For Lawyers

The R3 Blockchain consortium has announced their creation of a Legal Center of Excellence (LCoE) today, Feb. 20 — a team consisting of ten law firms that will educate lawyers globally about new Blockchain technologies, according to a press release published on FinExtra.

R3, which is made up of over 100 financial institutions, launched the Blockchain platform Corda in 2015, a distributed ledger system that facilitates and standardizes financial transactions. In December of last year, Amazon Web Services announced a partnership with R3 to allow the Corda distributed ledger on its marketplace, allowing users to both deploy and develop DApps onto the AWS platform.

The ten firms that make up the LCoE are Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Crowell & Moring, Fasken, Holland & Knight, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, and Stroock.

According to the press release, these law firms will be able to participate in Corda training workshops for attorneys, have access to R3’s Blockchain research, and receive project demos of real world Blockchain use every month.

Richard Gendal Brown, CTO at R3, sees the new LCoE as a way for lawyers to deal with the increasing number of questions surrounding the legal and regulatory status associated with Blockchain:

“A key feature of Corda is its ability to record an explicit link between human-language legal prose documents and smart contract code. This enables agreements between businesses to be executed automatically with minimal need for human intervention. The LCoE will allow R3 to directly engage with the lawyers that will be advising on and helping draft the smart contracts used by the network of Corda users across the globe.”

R3’s new team closely resembles the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open-source Blockchain initiative, that was launched in February 2017.

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Vitalik Buterin To Advise New ‘Ethereum Community Fund’ Sponsoring ETH Infrastructure

Several large Ethereum-based projects have come together to create the Ethereum Community Fund (EFC), a vehicle to connect and fund the growth of Ethereum (ETH) infrastructure, according to the EFC website.

The founding members of the EFC are OmiseGo, Cosmos, Golem, Maker, Global Brain Blockchain Labs, and Raiden.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Foundation executive director Ayako Miyaguchi, and OmiseGo managing director Vansa Chatikavanij will join the project as advisors, according to Jun Hasegawa’s, the founder of OmiseGO, announcement on Medium.

The beginning basis of the EFC is the Infrastructure Grant program, which the website describes as a

“Permanent financial endowment to support and aid projects in building crucial open-source infrastructure, tooling, and applications.”

Jun Hasegawa tweeted at the participating members of the fund yesterday in celebration:

The EFC is not the first Ethereum-based global initiative created to develop Ethereum infrastructure. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) launched in Feb. 2017 is the world’s largest open-source Blockchain initiative.

It is currently partnered with more than 200 organizations, including big financial institutions like  JPMorgan, Santander, and Mastercard, Intel. The non-profit’s aim is to bring privacy, scalability, and security to developing Ether and the Ethereum Blockchain.

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Enterprise Blockchain May Finally Be Ready for Its Breakout

It turns out, last year’s mantra “make blockchain real” was little more than wishful thinking.

Instead of the increased efficiency, enterprises have encountered impractically slow transaction volumes; instead of a transparent world with ultimate accountability, companies holding sensitive customer data faced regulatory concerns.

Still, there’s reason to believe the same rosy-colored forecast just might come true this year.

The reason for that optimism, it turns out, is that even if the blockchains didn’t become real for businesses in 2017, they did become tangible in terms of technology. And now that the software has been built, those working close to development say live trials are just around the corner.

“All these experiments and proofs-of-concept were not done in a vacuum and they were not done for fun,” said Charley Cooper, managing director of the R3 distributed ledger consortium, which has its own series of live applications in the final stages of launch.

He told CoinDesk:

“They were done to bear out what could and could not be done effectively on the technology, and what we felt would be meaningful commercial opportunities.”

In short, making blockchain real is no longer abstract, it’s on the verge of being good business.

1. The software is ready

But to understand how the abstract utopia of cryptocurrency becomes more than just a business interest, one needs to revisit a slew of successes that have flown under the radar.

Most recently, groups of financial institutions and enterprises (R3, the Linux-led Hyperledger consortium and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance) have all seen major software milestones.

For example, computing hardware giant Intel last week launched Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0 to the Hyperledger code repository. Created in partnership with more than 50 coders representing dozens of companies, the software joins the IBM-contributed Hyperledger Fabric and R3’s Corda as the latest blockchain solutions to release a version intended to give developers a sense of confidence.

Building on these solutions, versions of the open-source software platforms that can be monetized have also hit the market.

Last year, IBM launched IBM Blockchain, an enterprise-grade version of the software, and later this quarter, R3 will do the same with its own Corda platform, dubbed Enterprise Corda.

These commercialized versions of open-source software will, in turn, enable a number of industry-specific blockchain applications. Last year, Walmart, Kroger, and Nestle helped launch a food tracking network using IBM Blockchain, and new solutions are expected to be explored this year, according to a representative of the company.

In a similar way, R3’s Corda Enterprise is already in limited use with live applications from both Finastra and HQLAx. Both are expected to be available in the first half of 2018, according to Cooper.

Also, JPMorgan’s Quorum – which has been the most public solution associated with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance – launched into version 2.0 last November, and for the strength of the team behind the software, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

2. Interoperability is moving forward

With the software laid down, it’s also a safe bet there will be advances on the idea that blockchains can and should connect in order to assuage businesses wary of investing in the wrong tech, or being worried about getting boxed out of future business opportunities.

As an early example, last August Monax integrated with Hyperledger Sawtooth to enable ethereum smart contracts on the platform, and a few months later Deloitte spin-off Nuco helped gather a group of companies specifically to address interoperability.

In a move that stands to accelerate similar integration, a version of Interledger, originally created by Ripple specifically to facilitate interoperability, has already been contributed to the Hyperledger consortium.

For an idea of what this could mean in a bigger context, last June, Interledger was successfully tested across seven different ledgers, including multiple blockchains.

The chairman of Hyperledger’s technical steering committee, and CTO of IBM’s open technology, Chris Ferris told CoinDesk interoperability would play a crucial role in 2018:

“Whether that’s Fabric and Sawtooth working with Burrow, or whether its Fabric and Sawtooth projects working with Indy, and collaborating on those various technologies, those are the kind of things we’re starting to see.”

While networks of companies remain at the center of where most people in blockchain think the technology is headed, a few leaders from both the legacy firms and startups will likely continue to chalk out their own territory.

3. Ripple and Swift will change the game

Also likely heightening business interest will be blockchain’s observable impact.

Indeed, one of the most notable trends this year could end up involving Swift, the inter-bank messaging platform that was early on identified as the ultimate middleman.

Last year, the member-owned network of banks and other financial institutions revealed a successful proof-of-concept aimed at reimagining the nostro-vostro accounts used by companies to store cash around the world, and in January, it signed an agreement with seven central securities depositories to evolve the way the centralized organizations might leverage blockchain.

But while this might look innovative in its own right, Swift’s moves are more interesting if you consider Ripple, the blockchain startup that in 2012 set out to disrupt it.

While Ripple was a scrappy Silicon Valley startup for years, it’s unique – and controversial – approach to offering public and private blockchain technology has transformed it into a juggernaut. At today’s XRP price of $0.84, the 61 billion XRP Ripple owns is worth about $51 billion, though much of that is locked up in smart contracts designed to restrict the company’s access.

It’s likely that Ripple’s executives won’t waste any time putting the funds they can access to work, as they’ve already shown they’re willing to spend money to make the case a distributed ledger solution can save clients money – even throwing conferences to prove it.

Will Ripple evolve to challenge Swift on messaging? Will it continue to emphasize its ability to provide better market liquidity? Or will it do both? It remains to be seen.

Time will tell, too, how Swift responds, but be sure that businesses are likely to take notice if the feud continues to attract global headlines.

4. Bank PoCs will evolve

Other financial institutions will likely look to see the competitive benefit in striking first.

Look for UBS to continue its own leadership role among a consortium of other banks, building on its plan to use a private version of the ethereum blockchain to speed along the newly implemented Mifid II regulatory requirements in Europe. The Swiss bank is also taking a leading role in Utility Settlement Coin (USC), which is exploring the potential benefits of blockchain for central banks.

Beyond financial applications, some of the largest companies in the world have spun off their own blockchain startups to help commercialize their work.

Traditionally described as one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, Deloitte has made a concerted effort to tranform itself into a technology consulting firm by helping its clients navigate the blockchain space. Importantly, it’s also begun to evolve the traditional understanding of what accounting itself looks like in the age of blockchain.

Also notable, global shipping-giant Maersk last year spun-off its blockchain supply chain work into a still-unnamed joint venture with IBM that is currently looking to provide streamlined services to other shipping companies. Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn similarly spun-off a blockchain supply chain financing startup, in partnership with peer-to-peer lender, Dianrong.

As an example of an even more independent operation undertaken by a legacy firm, the maker of Mercedes-Benz last year issued a $100 million bond on a private version of the ethereum blockchain. This year, Daimler has confirmed it is continuing it’s blockchain work on a number of other – yet unspecified – blockchain projects.

“Our work on blockchain is ongoing,” said Hendrik Sackmann, a senior Daimler communications manager.

5. Cryptocurrency enters the mix

Another change on the horizon could be an increased willingness by enterprises to talk about – and even publicly explore – cryptocurrencies.

Most notably, among this group, is IBM, which last year revealed work with cryptocurrency startup Stellar and is now looking at ways to explore open blockchains in cross-border payments and last week revealed a test called Fabric Coin designed to demonstrate how the blockchain works.

Perhaps the most similar of these startups to the enterprises exploring blockchain via consortia is Multichain, which last year revealed a number of new partners in its own consortium, followed closely by the launch of its own open-source version 1.0 enterprise software.

Unlike enterprise consortia, while Multichain does not require the use of a cryptocurrency, it is designed to easily integrate with the bitcoin blockchain.

Leading the way with another cryptocurrency, is ConsenSys, a collection of startups that are working both independently and with enterprises to leverage both private and permissioned versions of the ethereum blockchain and its accompanying cryptocurrency ether.

Hidden among this rapidly maturing blockchain startup community are also a number of sleeper startups that could be up similar game-changing projects.

The most notable of these sleeper startups are Tradewinds, the blockchain spin-off behind the IEX exchange made famous in Michael Lewis’s “Flash Boys,” which is expected to emerge later this year with some big news, and two startups from within R3: Post Oak Labs, a fintech consultancy with blockchain roots and DrumG, building products for clients using Corda.

What each of the blockchain startups catering to enterprises have in common, according to Hu Liang, founder of another leader in the space, venture-backed blockchain operating system, Omniex, is some rather unusual positioning, from a historical perspective.

Unlike most financial innovations, which are led by commercial consumers, blockchain started the other way around, leaving enterprises to catch up.

Liang, who previously worked at bank and asset managing giant, State Street, told CoinDesk:

“Crypto is the only asset class in history that was initially driven by the retail community. Because of the run-up in that price it obviously has brought up the interest of institutional investors.”

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

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The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Appoints First Executive Director

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has appointed Ron Resnick, the former president and chairman of the Airfuel Alliance, as the first executive director, according to a Jan. 17 press release.

Resnick also served as the President and Chairman of the WiMAX Forum, working with Intel’s Broadband Wireless Business on the launch of one of the first 4G broadband modems.

Chairman of the EEA board Julio Faura stated today in a press release:

“4G wireless broadband changed the world. We believe Blockchains will have a similar impact on society. Ron’s task as our first Executive Director is to build-out the organization, engage with members and foster the continued development of technical content.”

The EEA, which was launched in February 2017, was established to bring privacy, scalability and security to the development of Ether and the whole Ethereum Blockchain.

Resnick, who will host an EEA event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23, said in the press release:

“My focus is to drive the further development of Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards and open-source reference architectures to evolve Ethereum into an enterprise-grade technology.”

Since February, the alliance has grown to 200 members, making it the largest open-source Blockchain initiative. Its member list includes founding members JPMorgan and Santander, newer members like Mastercard, Intel and Microsoft, and a number of Ether investors and Blockchain startups.