The Baseline Protocol is a public domain open source initiative that combines advances in cryptography, messaging, and blockchain to deliver secure and private business processes at low cost via the public Ethereum Mainnet. The protocol enables confidential and complex collaboration between enterprises without leaving any sensitive data on-chain. Already companies such as Coke One North America are publicly building integrations using the baseline technique.
It’s been five years since companies started getting interested in blockchain, but in that time, most took a turn towards treating private, permissioned chains as fancy shared databases. And yet, if you think about it, if you are a company with information about your customers or data that you really wouldn’t want your competitors to analyze, putting that on any kind of blockchain is going to get pushback from any reasonable information security officer. (Here are ten reasons a CISO doesn’t like public blockchains.)
The Baseline Protocol offers a different way of thinking about how companies can get real utility out of a public blockchain, one that security officers and CIOs can get their heads around. Instead of thinking of it as a fancy database, we think of it as the ultimate integration bus – a common frame of reference that ensures that a record in one company’s database is verifiably identical to a record in a counterparty’s database. Do that cleverly, and the public blockchain solves a huge problem for industry – the problem of spending billions on an information system for your company only to discover that it can only tell you what you think you know...and nothing about whether your partner knows the same thing – without exposing data or metadata that competitors could use against you. And without having to set up more and more private integration layers for every new partner or consortium.
Hundreds of people and companies have signed up to make the Baseline Protocol a standard for business process automation across companies. And the more companies take this approach, the more use they will have for the humble public blockchain.
Governed by the venerable standards body, OASIS, the Baseline Protocol is less than eight months old and has already delivered its first release. The community went from a few companies to hundreds of active participants, and the idea of baselining has spread through so many organizations -- from the largest enterprises to the smallest businesses -- that it’s hard to keep track of even a fraction of them.
Now it’s time to take things to the next level. And focusing the efforts of the worlds best technical people for a finite period of time seems like a good way to do it.
The baseline community spent November identifying, specifying and architecting new features and enhancements to the protocol that are high priority on the roadmap. Hundreds of contributors joined to participate in the virtual Summit to hash out the details on November 12th and 13th.
The December hackathon bounties, here on Gitcoin, will include protocol level challenges ranging from general distributed systems issues like messaging, scaling and throughput issues, system integration issues, and project opportunities such as an identity service and “Layer 2” solutions.
You can watch the recordings from the Summit here!
Want a sneak peak and a way to prep for the challenges? Take a look at the Baseline Roadmap.
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