“Ethereum for Business” explains the main use cases

The cryptocurrency market has seen its share of ups and downs over the past year, but blockchain technology continues to see impressive growth as businesses seek digital transformation.

Recent findings from market research platform, MarketsandMarkets, estimated the global blockchain market size to be $7.4 billion in 2022. Although notable, the report states that the blockchain industry is expected to generate $94 billion in revenue by the end of 2027. If these results are accurate, this will translate to a compound annual growth rate of 66% from 2022 to 2027.

Breaking down ‘Ethereum for Enterprise’

Specifically, many companies today use the Ethereum blockchain to improve outdated business processes. Paul Brody, global blockchain leader for Ernst & Young (EY), told Cointelegraph that he believes the Ethereum network will drive the most growth for the enterprise blockchain market in the future.

To bring this to light, Brody recently posted Ethereum for business. According to Brody, this book aims to help non-technical C-level executives and business leaders understand how and why Ethereum applies to specific use cases.

Book cover. Source: University of Arkansas press

To ease readers into the subject, Brody begins the first part of the book by explaining how Ethereum works using relatable language. “There are three fundamental concepts that are useful to understand – the distributed ledger, the programmable ledger, and the consensus algorithm,” he writes. Brody then explains that every “financial system has a ledger”, but notes that the difference between traditional centralized systems and Ethereum is that “Ethereum’s ledger is public and distributed to all participants”.

The first chapter also explains the terminology associated with blockchain networks. Brody writes that “batches of transactions are called ‘blocks’.” He ends the chapter by mentioning that the Ethereum network is often attractive to business users because it offers the “convenience of an integrated digital business” without a centralized market operator.

Before delving into specific use cases, Brody spends the next few chapters of the book detailing terminology like wallets, tokens, and smart contracts. For example, in chapter four he writes:

“In Ethereum, money and things can be represented as tokens, while the terms of trade between two parties can be captured in a smart contract.”

Brody adds that everything of value is stored in a wallet when using the Ethereum blockchain: “Wallets are just a name for a digital account where you can store your keys and access rights. contacts and assets you control through those keys.”

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Chapter five focuses on oracles; as Brody mentions, “Enterprise transactions will require extensive use of oracles,” as external data sources will be critical to making smart contracts for business purposes.

The information presented at the beginning of Brody’s book is extremely useful for readers who may be new to the blockchain industry. The following chapters focus on concepts such as privacy, which is a crucial consideration for businesses that operate blockchain.

In Chapter Six, Brody writes, “Although companies demand privacy, blockchains do not, by default, offer privacy.” Given this, Brody focuses this section on privacy applications that can be applied to support business transactions. Although Brody mentions at the beginning of the book that the reading is not intended to promote EY’s work on the blockchain, he details how Nightfall and Starlight – two privacy mechanisms created by EY – are used by companies to ensure secure private transactions on the blockchain.

Real-world Ethereum use cases

The second part of Brody’s book focuses on use cases and case studies. This section is probably the most interesting because it explains why the technology could be useful for business processes.

Tokenization is extensively discussed in section two, with Brody writing that it is “the single most important thing businesses can do in the blockchain space.” He adds that tokenization is often the first decision businesses using blockchain make, as it can be used to digitize assets that can be easily tracked and managed.

Although Brody explains the difference between ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens, he points out that the ERC-1155 standard is gaining traction among enterprises due to its mix of fungible and non-fungible properties. Brody shares that an EY client in the pharmaceutical industry is currently using ERC-1155 tokens to track serialized drug packaging. “Using the 1155 standard, this company can mint large volumes of tokens and transfer them in large batches to distributors and others,” he wrote.

Brody continues to share real world examples of how EY clients are applying the Ethereum blockchain. For example, he explains how Italian beer producer Peroni uses blockchain for traceability, allowing consumers to scan a QR code to understand how beer was produced.

“Those viewing a non-fungible beer token (NFT) from Peroni on the Polygon PoS chain (an Ethereum sidechain), will be able to see Peroni’s final batch token as well as malt house and farm entry tokens” , writes Brodi.

In addition to these use cases, Brody details how blockchain helps with supply chain management, contract management, carbon emissions tracking, payments and more. He points out in this section that “blockchains will do for enterprise ecosystems what ERP [enterprise resource planning] made inside the single company.

‘Ethereum for Business’ is educational, but blockchain is broad

While Ethereum for business provides an in-depth and clear view of the Ethereum business, readers should remember that the blockchain ecosystem is vast. There are a number of different blockchain networks that businesses can use outside of Ethereum.

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Still, it’s worth noting that Brody’s new book provides a detailed overview of the Ethereum ecosystem, breaking down key concepts while providing real-world use cases. This is extremely important, as education around blockchain technology is still needed to drive mainstream adoption.