We are very pleased to count 40 of the world’s largest banks and R3 among our users following the successful conclusion of the most recent blockchain experiment of the R3 Global Collaborative Lab. Many of the participants were already users, but the marmots always welcome more users into our burrow.

The R3 consortium is composed of 42 of the largest, most systemically-important banks in the world.

The Experiment

All code for the base platform which we tested in the experiment is open-source and completely free for anyone to use. No modifications to the base platform were necessary to support the relatively complex experiment which included running a suite of well tested smart contracts against multiple blockchains with different collaboration settings.

The experiment, reported in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, saw Eris Industries deliver a smart contract suite which demonstrated the automation of the issuance, trading, and redemption of commercial paper on a blockchain. The demonstrator used for the experiment, which relied on Eris’ upcoming Smart Contract Libraries product to ease our own delivery time, was run and operated collaboratively - and concurrently - by 40 of the consortium’s 42 member institutions.

Blockchain interoperability

One issue that we, as a company, have tackled head-on from day one is the idea of interoperability between blockchains and other distributed protocols.

A number of industry players propose to solve this problem by over-engineering a standard kernel or ‘master protocol’ of some kind which the community is magically “going to adopt”. This approach is a “winner take all” proposition which involves, e.g., a lot of discussion about which consensus mechanism is best, whether UTXOs or account-based systems are the future, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

We are, of course, placing our own early bets with our design decisions. At the same time, we believe strongly that there will be a great plurality of chaintypes designed to address different needs. Due to this philosophical approach we view such discussions around consensus mechanisms important for when applications move into production but wasteful effort before moving into production.

So we solve the interoperability problem with API hooking.


This approach means that Eris users can select whatever protocol works best for a particular part of an application - meaning they can select eris:db or geth for the smart contracts, and BigchainDB or other coming backends for high-throughput settlement, for example - and get them to work in concert without a great deal of effort.

To demonstrate this, the experiment saw our prototype run on three different blockchains using two different blockchain designs: eris:db and geth. For the sake of history and clarity, we did not run the full demonstrator suite against geth due to differences in the client libraries between geth and eris:db and the time allocated to deliver did not allow for such a delivery.

Participants were also given the opportunity to utilize the peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol IPFS if they chose. In this way we showcased the Eris Platform’s ability to work with completely different blockchain and distributed systems at the same time.

Casey Kuhlman, Eris Industries’ CEO, said of the successful conclusion of the experiment:

“The Eris platform is designed to make it fast and easy for developers to create applications using any blockchain or other distributed systems. In this experiment our open-source tools successfully deployed suites of smart contracts on both a fully-permissionable ErisDB blockchain and an instance of a Go-Ethereum private blockchain. It was a pleasure working with R3 and we look forward to further experimentation.”

To our knowledge, it is the most extensive test of its kind ever undertaken, with R3 saying that the experiment marks an

“unprecedented scale of institutional collaboration between the financial and technology communities exploring how distributed ledgers can be applied to global financial markets.”

Further Background

This news follows sixty days of meaningful commercial and technical validation of Eris Industries’ approach to blockchain technology, and the software we build, by a range of financial, professional services, and technology firms:

  • In December, Eris was announced as one of the first blockchain software platforms onboarded by Microsoft Azure’s cloud marketplace.

  • Eris was also the first, and remains the only, blockchain platform available on Amazon Web Services Marketplace.

  • Additionally, last month PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that it selected us as one of only three firms, and the sole smart contract provider, in its blockchain solutions portfolio.

  • More important than any press coverage or corporate thinking, though, is what developers think. Last week Softpedia gave Eris v0.11 a five-star rating, an accolade we’re pretty sure no other blockchain software in the world has attained.

Developers, if you want to get started rolling your own blockchains today, please feel free to head over to our documentation pages and >support forum to get started.

About Eris Industries

Eris is the free and open-source Universal Blockchain Platform built by Eris Industries. Eris allows anyone to build their own secure, low-cost, run-anywhere applications using blockchain and smart contract technology. Our mission is to empower developers from a range of organizations to automate their data driven relationships using a variety of distributed systems.

Eris is capable of running any client for a public blockchain, and any client for a permissioned blockchain which is open sourced. In this way, the Eris platform greatly reduces the difficulty of creating complex blockchain-based systems. With Eris, it’s possible to integrate multiple blockchain, distributed file storage, and other distributed systems into a single cohesive application.

No matter which blockchain technology organizations wish to build on, Eris makes it easy to get started and provides developers with a cohesive experience.

From our offices in London, New York, and Berlin, Eris Industries’ multidisciplinary team of lawyers, scientists, economists and engineers combines our respective areas of expertise to consistently deliver useful and fit-for-purpose blockchain tooling to Tier 1 global banks and other firms of global stature.