[Note: this is not an endorsement nor was I compensated for posting the following information]
Preston Byrne (who helped provide feedback and content for GCON) left Norton Rose Fulbright a couple months ago and just announced the launch of Eris Industries. While details are still forthcoming, it looks like they have managed to beat to market other proposed systems and it uses agnostic tech (not necessarily Bitcoin “rails”), to settle/move contracts on a blockchain.
In an email exchange Byrne explains the Eris system in a nutshell:
I think the key takeaway point – if there is one – is this. It’s sort of like Nick Szabo’s blockchain computer (albeit an Apple 1 version of it). There are no mystical powers to a blockchain – it is a data structure. But you can parameterise the data structure to address pain points where you currently rely on multiple-redundant (hardware and labour) systems to achieve that verification.
Where those pain points are will differ from case-to-case and application-to-application. It’s something that you can’t know in advance – businesses need to do the analysis and come up with proposed deployments, and it’s best for them to do so, as they are far and away in the best position to know how their business is structured and where the humans and hardware need to come out (and then, how to design a system of smart contracts tailored to address it).
That’s why Thelonious is a smart contract-enabled blockchain design, a template to create blockchains, instead of a single one – because developers, not us, are in a way better position to establish what those pain points are and how to address them.
Thus they set the parameters, and we don’t. We just give them the enterprise-compatible, open-ended, smart contract-enabled, and smart contract-controlled framework over which they can drape their particular problem, define it, code it, test it, solve it, and (while still benefiting from the security of public-key cryptography) improve it later thanks to the GenDoug kernel, and without needing to fork the chain.
Our job over the next couple of years is to make sure we keep building the tools that help them achieve that as easily and safely as possible.
Some of their blog posts explaining what the platform and goals are:
- Eris Industries — Why Do I Do What I Do?
- Eris Industries — What Are We Building?
- Meet Eris. The distributed computing solution for industry.
- The Story — From DAO Design Jams to Eris Industries
- Blockchain your business in just 7 steps
- Smart contracts: a brief introduction for the financial services industry
- Why We Built the Best #Legalhacking Tool I Know Of
- Why We Built Thelonious
- Smart Contract Writing, LLL and the creation of the Eris Standard Library
- Blockchain = low cost infrastructure. But for whom?