This article is part of coindesk’s 2019 annual review, which collects 100 columns and interviews and introduces the current situation of the blockchain industry.

From 2016 to 2017, the Ethereum ecosystem was full of differences. Onlookers at that time would think, “look at these struggles and dramatic plots, and say it’s the next Internet? The next revolution? I don’t think so. Ethereum can’t achieve anything!”.

However, the facts shown in 2019 prove that they are very wrong.

In January 2016, Gavin wood, former chief technology officer of Ethereum, left the former edeec + + C + + development team and established ethcore (later renamed parity technologies). Since then, there has been a love hate relationship between parity and other members of Ethereum community. Until today, parity technologies has put forward a controversial proposal: parity code and maintenance mode will be transferred to decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) ownership.

In July 2016, there was a dramatic scenario that shocked the world, and the Dao fund dried up. After a month of fierce debate, Ethereum ecosystem was split into two parts by “the Dao fork”. Most Ethereum community members accept the bifurcation behavior of returning funds, while the supporters of “code is law” show the world that a few chains supported by non bifurcation chains can survive, and create Ethereum classic.

In October 2016, parity technologies blocked the re licensing of CPP Ethereum (Ethereum client implemented in C + +) to Apache 2.0 (an open source license agreement) at the last minute because it would affect their commercial interests. They also worry that IBM’s “advance” may lead to the collapse of Ethereum. This re authorization seems likely to lead to a great change in the attitude towards Ethereum within the hyperledger alliance, which was just less than a year after its establishment.

Preventing reauthorization indirectly led to the establishment of Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA). When reauthorization was in trouble, the alliance became a “plan B”. At that time, it was impossible to establish a large alliance between Ethereum and super ledger, but enough enterprises used Ethereum network for more formal cooperation.

In February 2017, EEA was established and its members include well-known companies such as Microsoft, Intel, JPMorgan, bny Mellon and CME Group. EEA members focus on private and alliance chain scenarios. The establishment of EEA is a very stressful thing. People are very worried that the Ethereum Foundation (EF) will publicly condemn EEA. Vitalik buterin, founder of Ethereum, privately expressed support, but did not personally attend the press conference. Instead, he published a pre recorded video. Although EEA is not mentioned, it probably talks about the commercial use of Ethereum. The Ethereum foundation did not make an official statement. In the first few months, this tension between the two sides was obvious.

Does EEA attempt to replace Ethereum in enterprise applications? EEA is just an outpost of consensys (consensys contributed most of its resources during the launch period and early operation)? Parity is also clearly absent, and they have never actually joined the EEA. Are EEA and super ledger competitors? Is this just an agency dispute between Microsoft (the main supporter of Ethereum) and IBM (the main promoter of super ledger)?

These fears are not true. They are the result of zero sum thinking.

As Jeremy Miller said at the EEA launch, there is no reason not to use a suitable modular Ethereum code base to meet all these use cases, public and private, licensed or unlicensed. The Internet and Intranet can be used as an analogy. Both have their own purposes. The deployment options are only the configuration settings on the public code base.

That’s how things go.

This process began in February 2017, when monax (a founding member of EEA) contributed the first Ethereum virtual machine burrow (formerly known as erisdb) to the super ledger, which was the first step of the super ledger towards Ethereum technology. Burrow is integrated into hyperledger sawtooth and then into hyperledger fabric. EVM in fabric is the main product released by IBM at the consensus conference in New York in May 2018.

In January 2018, I posted a tweetstorm, which became the theme of “call for an end to tribalism in Ethereum” at the Ethereum Community Conference in Paris in March 2018.

In April 2018, Kent Barton continued to focus on “divided we fail: the irrational insanity of crypto tribalism”.

At the Paris conference, the Ethereum magicians Committee, led by my former colleagues Jamie Pitts and Greg Colvin, was established. These people try to improve governance around the Ethereum protocol improvement process.

In October 2018, EEA and super ledger announced that they would become relevant members of each other and would cooperate on joint projects. In April 2019, the token taxonomy program in cooperation with Microsoft and IBM was launched. In June 2019, Microsoft finally joined the super ledger. Now we are waiting for IBM to join EEA!

In 2019, the tension between the Ethereum foundation and EEA was eased. Aya Miyaguchi, executive director of the Ethereum foundation, joined the EEA board of directors in August 2019. At the same time, the Ethereum foundation and EEA announced the cooperative launch of the main Internet initiative.

In August 2019, consensys announced that it would join the super Ledger as a senior member, and the founder Joe Rubin would also join the Council. They announced that they will provide enterprise class Ethereum client Pantheon (now renamed besu).

Three years after the failure of CPP Ethereum re authorization, we finally have a fully mature Ethereum main network client as part of the super ledger. Besu is written by the mainstream enterprise programming language java language, has the Apache 2.0 license, and operates under the mature governance system of the Linux foundation. It consists of a large team of world-class software engineers and has been developed in accordance with EEA’s mature specifications and standards since 2017.

The development of Ethereum classics was funded by the etc cooperative, which was completed by chainsafe in December 2019. After several years of sadness and pain caused by “bad separation”, the cooperation between Ethereum classic ecosystem and Ethereum ecosystem increased in late 2018 and throughout 2019. Virgil Griffith is the key to easing the relationship. He has always played the role of a classic good friend of Ethereum.

As my friend John Wolpert wrote in his groundbreaking blog “bringing on the stateful Internet” published in August 2018:

“I hope we can take out all the ‘good works’ and put aside all brands and their respective goals. We will regard it as a bag full of Legos, integrating a set of potential standards we really need to help develop a client / server that can break through New applications for limitations and annoying centralized control problems. “

The artificially set conceptual boundary between “public chain” and “private chain” is rapidly disappearing. All different technologies, whether we call them blockchain technology, distributed ledger Technology (DLT) or distributed database, should be interoperable.

In the future, multiple blockchain networks will coexist. Layer 1 and layer 2, state channels, rollups, plasma, lightning, counterfactual instantiation, layer 2 privacy solutions, off chain computing, and various public consensus mechanisms. In addition, integration with existing systems is also very important.

At the end of 2019, the current situation is completely different from the climax of 2016. Previous competitors (whether within Ethereum or in the broader enterprise blockchain ecosystem) are uniting and collaborating in a pleasant way, which is in sharp contrast to the fragmented situation in the past. Cooperation is a winning strategy to overcome fierce competition. By 2020, this trend will only accelerate.

The continuous maturity of governance is finally regarded as the key basis of cooperation. The whole ecosystem has finally developed.

In 2016, I wrote:

“We may develop a set of technologies in the next few years, which can have a social impact similar to the Internet, the world wide web, open source languages, relational databases, etc. we are developing a decentralized computing platform, which can benefit everyone on earth.”.

“These technologies need to go deep into every corner and gap of our computing structure: whether large or small, public or private, independent or collaborative; smart watches or mainframes”.

“This is a grand and ambitious undertaking. For many of us, it is expected and closely related to us. The diversity of views, the wide application of mature basic technologies, an open and inclusive attitude and environment will help us achieve our common goals.”

In 2020, this dream will be closer to realization. It’s so exciting to be in the front row of this revolution. come on.

Bob summerwill is the executive director of Ethereum classic cooperative, a volunteer of Ethereum project and a community Ambassador of cryptochicks, a non-profit educational organization.

Responsible editor: CT

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