Blockchain technology has seen impressive growth in recent years as businesses strive for digital transformation. According to a report by market research platform MarketsandMarkets, the global blockchain market is estimated to be worth $7.4 billion in 2022, with projected revenue of $94 billion by the end of 2027. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 66% from 2022 to 2027.
One of the driving forces behind this growth is the use of the Ethereum blockchain by enterprises to improve outdated business processes. Paul Brody, global blockchain leader for Ernst & Young (EY), believes that the Ethereum network will continue to drive growth in the enterprise blockchain market.
To help non-technical executives and company leaders understand the applications of Ethereum, Brody has published a book titled “Ethereum for Business.” The book aims to explain how and why Ethereum is relevant to specific use cases in a language that is accessible to non-technical readers.
Understanding Ethereum and Blockchain Terminology
In the first part of the book, Brody provides an overview of how Ethereum works and introduces foundational concepts such as the distributed ledger, the programmable ledger, and consensus algorithms. He explains that Ethereum’s ledger is public and distributed to all participants, distinguishing it from centralized traditional systems. Brody also explains blockchain terminology, such as the use of “blocks” to represent batches of transactions.
Furthermore, Brody delves into topics like wallets, tokens, and smart contracts, which are essential components of the Ethereum blockchain. He explains that in Ethereum, both money and assets can be represented as tokens, and the terms of exchange between parties can be captured in smart contracts. Wallets are digital accounts where users store their keys and access rights to contacts and assets. Brody also introduces the concept of oracles, which are external data sources necessary for completing smart contracts in enterprise transactions.
Privacy and Use Cases
Brody addresses the importance of privacy in enterprise transactions and highlights that blockchains do not inherently offer privacy. However, he explores privacy applications that can be applied to support enterprise transactions, including EY’s privacy mechanisms called Nightfall and Starlight. These mechanisms ensure private blockchain transactions and are used by businesses across various industries.
The second part of Brody’s book focuses on use cases and case studies that demonstrate the practical applications of Ethereum in business processes. Tokenization is a prominent topic, with Brody emphasizing its significance for enterprises. Tokenization allows firms to digitize assets, making them easily trackable and manageable. Brody explains the different types of tokens and highlights the growing popularity of the ERC-1155 standard, which combines fungible and non-fungible properties. He provides examples of how clients in industries like pharmaceuticals and beer production utilize tokenization on the Ethereum blockchain for tracking serialized medicine packages and ensuring traceability.
Brody also explores how blockchain technology benefits supply chain management, contract management, carbon emission tracking, and payments. He suggests that blockchains have the potential to revolutionize business ecosystems, similar to how enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems transformed single enterprises.
The Broad Potential of Blockchain Technology
While Brody’s book provides an in-depth view of the Ethereum ecosystem and its applications, it is important to note that there are other blockchain networks available for businesses to utilize. Ethereum is just one option among many.
Nonetheless, “Ethereum for Business” provides valuable insights into the Ethereum ecosystem, breaking down key concepts and providing real-world use cases. As blockchain technology continues to evolve, education and understanding remain crucial for driving mainstream adoption.