Quorum by JP Morgan: ‘A New Set Of Consensus Rules’
Quorum is a publicly available system JP Morgan is developing as a tool to iron out the “problems” of blockchain technology versus the needs of traditional banking.
“It’s a work in progress implementation of a new set of consensus rules, using an on-chain model to do block creation and validation,” Ethereum core developer Jeffrey Wilcke explained on Reddit in response to community questions Thursday.
Quorum looks to split (or, rather, combine) the functions of public and private blockchains to provide traders with privacy and onlookers — such as the regulator — with appropriate control and overview.
While the announcement marks renewed faith in Ethereum in the wake of its turbulent year following the DAO hack and divisive hard fork, the latest direction has led community members to express mixed feelings. Specifically, the direct involvement of Ethereum developers has spawned skepticism about the ethics of the Quorum project.
Notably, R3CEV director of market research Tim Swanson made a tweet showcasing his doubts:
history of Ethereum maximalism
Q1'14: Code is law! Banks don't get it!
Q3'16: HF/code isn't law. Quorum released https://t.co/gJg4YCg75a
— Tim Swanson (@ofnumbers) September 29, 2016
Developers: Different Blockchains ‘Not Inherently Incompatible’
Wilcke, meanwhile, went into further details about the difficulties Quorum would hopefully resolve.
“There’ll be a difference between ‘private’ and ‘public’ on that same chain and also true, global consensus over both public and private will [therefore] never be met,” he continued.
“Consensus can be reached over subsections of the private parts. . .of the state and global consensus can be reached over the public part of the state.”
Fellow developer Hudson Jameson provided additional comment on the niche available for the project to fill.
“Don’t think about private, consortium, and public blockchains as indefinitely incompatible. I believe there will be a future that private/consortium chains will interact and share data with public chains,” he wrote.
“A consortium blockchain gives you the ability to work with other actors without fully trusting them.”
A Long Road Ahead
Nonetheless, despite buoyant comments from the JP Morgan camp, Quorum remains very much in its infancy.
“Next week(s) will be [spent] cleaning up the repo and getting it back on to mainline develop, followed by opening up the repo / PR,” Wilcke added.
JP Morgan appears to be noticeably keen not to back down on blockchain. The past two years have seen the departure of its resident expert Blythe Masters, as well as its unsuccessful attempt to patent its own Bitcoin-esque payment system.
“We have people building the most stress-tested financial systems in the world,” the Wall Street Journal quotes Quorum program lead Amber Baldet as saying. “Bringing that enterprise expertise [to blockchain] is one of our strengths.”
What do you think about Quorum, its potential and ethos? Let us know in the comments section below!
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