Late last year, Anthemis invested in Eris Industries. Eris was known in the Bitcoin world for having worked on DOUG, a smart contract-based replacement for the Bitcoin Foundation (still an interesting concept in the current discussion of BTC governance). We were attracted by the quality of the team and their vision. See my blog post at the time.
Eris Industries was one of the early companies to see the potential value of permissioned ledgers and understood the need to make distributed applications accessible to developers. But at the core our enthusiasm for Eris stems from their focus on smart contracts, pieces of code with unique attributes running on a Blockchain. Distributed applications built with smart contracts have the potential to change how corporations are built, how federated organizations are run, and to make contracts (such as securities in the financial services world) partly autonomous entities. In my view, its one of the most exciting developments in technology because of 1) its’ likely impact across multiple industries and 2) its’ long term potential to redefine how our society works (a key aspect in Carlota Perez’s theory of technology and economic cycles). The fact that Bitcoin could go from a white paper on an obscure forum to what is it today is just a small example of what distributed applications could do.
However, most great things don’t come from planned execution but from the creative destruction of innovation. A key driver of that is entrepreneurial endeavor, especially driven by democratized, open sources tools, one of the key fundamentals of why software is eating the world (to borrow from Marc Andreessen). For distributed applications to succeed, we need thousands and thousands of people building stuff this way, and for that to happen we need tools to support them. With the Eris 0.10 platform, Eris Industries is building one of those tools, an application framework to build smart contract based, distributed software on Blockchains, any type of Blockchains. Because blockchain development is important, Eris Industries will also continue its contribution to the open sourceTendermint project. Researching consensus solutions are another key driver for the success of blockchains in general (permissioned or permissionless).
Some of the key KPIs in an early technology cycle are simple: lines of code and developers:
- The Eris 0.10 is available on Github, and the Eris Industries team have dedicated channels to support developers and documentation/tutorials are regularly updated. Read this series of tutorials on Solidity for example.
- Several developers have started to experiment and build on the Eris platform, from large software companies, to banks, insurers and startups. Everledger is one example.
For the blockchain industry to move beyond the newspapers headlines, consultant reports and generic use cases, we need more code to be written. Its “interesting” to write about permissioned car access, automated securities settlement, distributed Uber competitors etc., but its way cooler to start building these. We hope Eris Industries will be one of the key partners to do so.
Originally posted on Tekfin.