BlockchainBanco Santander, BNY Mellon, Intel, JP Morgan and Microsoft are some of the big names behind the launch of a new blockchain alliance.

Called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), it plans to drive Ethereum blockchain technology best practices – “focusing on security, privacy, scalability and interoperability”.

This development creates another rival for the R3 blockchain consortium, which as Banking Technology reported late last year, suffered an exodus as member banks left. Some of these banks, such as Santander and BNY Mellon are part of EEA. However, according to R3, JP Morgan is still a member of its consortium.

Jeremy Millar, founding board member of EEA and chief of staff at ConsenSys, says enterprises “expect resilient secure systems and a robust controls environment” and EEA “aims to bring these together, both to provide enterprises the forum they need and also to advance Ethereum generally”.

EEA will investigate hybrid architectures that span both permissioned and public Ethereum networks. It says many initial members have developed pilots and production environments using Ethereum and “bring unique understandings of enterprise needs”. These include supply chain tracking, interbank payments, reference data and securities settlement.

Ethereum blockchain will, wait for it, “improve banking trade settlement latency, increase transparency in supply chains, and create peer-to-peer markets where intermediaries typically were previously needed between counterparties”.

EEA will also do the usual stuff – collectively develop industry standards and help open source collaboration with its member base as well as the Ethereum chief scientist and inventor, Vitalik Buterin.

The “founding members” of EEA’s rotating board include Accenture, Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, CME Group, ConsenSys, Intel, JP Morgan and Microsoft. “Additional founding members” include BBVA, Credit Suisse, ING, Thomson Reuters, UBS and Wipro.