Blockchain technology startup Eris Industries yesterday released version 0.10 of its platform, declaring that it was no longer developing its own blockchain and that it had gone “blockchain agnostic”.
The Eris tool, dubbed Eris CLI, will now just be a distributed application (DApps) layer that sits on top of any blockchain. Currently, Eris is developing this platform while supporting the open source Tendermint project, another blockchain consensus protocol that requires no proof-of-work mining.
Eris Industries’ CEO Casey Kuhlman explained:
…we no longer make an eris blockchain – permissioned or unpermissioned. We are, however, actively supporting the Tendermint open source project where our permissioned smart contract network efforts have continued. At this point “building on eris” does not imply that a developer is building on a specific blockchain and “eris dapps” do not imply that the smart contract network involved be built by any one particular project. In other words, we have gone fully blockchain agnostic.
Based on the Eris CLI README and a recent blogpost on “Deprecation Warnings”, Eris gave up on both developing a proprietary blockchain and a distributed application server as those tasks were monumentally difficult, and the startup is able to target a larger audience by going blockchain agnostic.
Eris sits at a layer in the stack between a blockchain client and the operating system. In other words, Eris is an application platform it is not a blockchain client.
Eris has also requires the installation of industry supported open platform Docker, which automates the distribution of applications inside software containers.
…we have gone “all in” on Docker. While some folks have mixed feelings about docker, and while there are still edge cases, it empowers a significant advancement for application developers due to its “build once, run the exact same anywhere” design structure. One of our alpha testers said about eris, “Got a BTC node and an Ethereum node running. Even with the little fiddling, that was FAST!” We would not be able to do this without Docker.
Eris believes that its platform will make it easier to run nodes for established blockchains, run middleware locked into established blockchains, instantiate new permissioned blockchains, build and deploy smart contract packages, and build and deploy DApps of different frameworks.
Founded in the UK in 2014, Eris also has offices in New York City. In May and again in July 2015, the company threatened to fully relocate to the US when British Prime Minister David Cameron began discussing reintroducing the “Snooper’s Charter” surveillance legislation as law.
For similar reasons, many companies and projects developing blockchain-based DApps have taken a blockchain agnostic path, including Bitnation, Blocknet, Blockchain Factory, Etherparty, Factom, Filament, among others.