By EEA Staff

On November 15, 2022, EEA Board member representatives from ConsenSys, Ernst &Young, J.P. Morgan, and Microsoft were part of the Forbes panel titled “Institutional DeFi: Corporate Adoption in a Post-Merge World.”

According to Forbes, the event was aimed at learning why the recent upgrades to the Ethereum blockchain are improving the technology’s energy consumption, security and public perception. By transitioning from private, institutional blockchains to the public Ethereum blockchain, organizations of all sizes are leveraging public blockchains to create business value, facilitate Web3 adoption, generate new revenue streams, and more. The panel was moderated by Michael Del Castillo, Senior Editor for Forbes Digital Assets and included:

  • Johann Bornman, Product Lead at MetaMask Institutional
  • Paul Brody, Principal & Global Blockchain Leader, Ernst & Young, an EEA Board member
  • Eseoghene Mentie, Technology Advisor, African Blockchain Alliance
  • Keerthi Moudgal, Vice President, Onyx Blockchain Launch, J.P. Morgan, an EEA Board member
  • Yorke Rhodes III, Cofounder, Blockchain@Microsoft, Microsoft, an EEA Board member
  • Lex Sokolin, Head Economist, ConsenSys, an EEA Board member

You can watch the recording here (free with registration) >

From the Wild West Days of Enterprise Blockchain

The panel discussion highlighted the business challenge that resulted in the genesis of the EEA. In 2016, multiple business organizations were starting to turn toward adopting Ethereum. They were making innumerable modifications to the code base to have an applicable solution that could stand up in a non-incentivized fashion, and work inside a business.

The EEA was formed in 2017 because business leaders foresaw that these modifications could become as bad as the early days of Unix when different versions couldn’t talk to each other. This was an effort to arrive at a unified set of standards that could help drive the market in a way that would be flexible and intercompatible.

Building Web3

Today, the EEA is deeply focused on building the foundations for Web3, where the future of business is very much focused on public Ethereum. Fortunately, the right business tools and infrastructure, along with the necessary application suites, are now being built at scale, which will allow more institutions to come into the space.

As we look ahead, the panel noted that there is a strong desire to bridge all organizations from Web2 to Web3. A lot of the important components we need to make this possible are being built, including the wanted infrastructure, smart contract auditing, and identity management.In fact, the panel highlighted that there has been a flood of VC investments in the last two years to lay the foundations of the tools, services, and products for businesses of all sizes to reach into this space. It’s a tremendously exciting time for many organizations and Web3 more broadly.

The Merge as Proving Ground

On September 15, 2022, the Merge enabled the Ethereum blockchain to switch from the energy-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) process of validation to the 99.95% more efficient Proof of Stake (PoS) method.

With the Merge, the panel revealed that Ethereum removed two huge issues from the market: first, the question as to whether the risks that come with change could be successfully managed, and second, concerns about the environmental footprint of the substrate. The risk element was handled through meticulous planning and rigorous testing in a way that large institutions require — which is why the Merge went nearly flawlessly. From both a market perspective and an enterprise adoptability perspective, Ethereum has shown that it can do large, very complex technology shifts.

The second big impact of the Merge was to settle the environmental impact question. This had been one of the largest concerns of the most environmental and social governance (ESG)-sensitive organizations, their business lines, their customers, and other observers. The massive reduction in Ethereum’s carbon footprint means that it uses 93,846 times less energy every year than YouTube.

Beyond even these key issues, the Merge has also changed the mindset of observers: people no longer ask if Ethereum is the dominant player. Before the Merge, people were impressed with Ethereum’s substantial market share but questioned if we could pull off such a significant change, partly because of the large amount of time spent in planning and testing (which proved to be well spent).

Now, after the success of the Merge, people are saying, “Yeah, okay, I get it, Ethereum is the dominant player.”

Ethereum is Ready. Are You?

Companies today have to think about the right technology and the right business model for their industry and goals. For businesses like global supply chains and large banks that prize reliability and an intentional approach to change, Ethereum is a solid foundation on which to build.

Are you ready to help shape the future of blockchain?

Read the EEA’s Ethereum Business Readiness Report 2022 and our EEA primers, which both make the exciting Ethereum activity happening in the corporate world more accessible and approachable to a wider range of business leaders. The report and primers offer overviews of many of the different concepts and facets of Ethereum, and blockchain as a whole, to help more professionals get started on the platform.

Follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook to stay up to date on all things EEA.