ConsenSys, EY team up with Microsoft to build an Ethereum-based protocol for enterprise use cases

Baseline aims to help enterprises coordinate their large scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems using Ethereum. In this case, Ethereum acts more like a middleware messaging platform “connecting distributed systems and interfaces,” as described by John Wolpert, head of Web3Studio at ConsenSys. As a first use case, Baseline intends to revamp the procure-to-pay process by tokenizing purchase orders, and the business logic attached to them, which might be able to simplify how companies verify purchase orders.

The teams behind Baseline plan to release its code later this month. The project has also already started to form a technical steering committee (TSC) to advise its development. This committee currently consists of more than a dozen companies, including Splunk, MakerDAO, Chainlink, and AMD, among others, in addition to ConsenSys, EY, and Microsoft.

Why it matters:
  • EY and Microsoft have been some of the most active enterprises involved with building software tools and solutions on public blockchains. EY has released multiple versions of its zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology to help improve transaction privacy on Ethereum. Last Spring, Microsoft launched a decentralized identity (DID) tool on Bitcoin. This latest effort might be a clear sign the two are betting on most business-related use cases for blockchain will eventually gravitate towards public networks.
  • Baseline Protocol is tackling the concern of maintaining data privacy on a public network through the use of ZKPs. Its privacy solutions build off of the work from EY’s Nightfall project and ConsenSys-backed Aztec. Baseline could potentially benefit from EY’s efforts to make transactions involved ZKPs more scalable and cost-efficient.
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