What's Happening

On August 25th, 2020, JP Morgan and Consensys announced that the Quorum open source project would be acquired and managed by Consensys as part of a strategic investment by JPM. 

The acquisition is a major step in the acceleration of enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions. By using Quorum with Consensys’ other enterprise product offerings, businesses can build highly customizable, secure, and performant solutions.

What Is Consensys Quorum?

With this announcement, Consensys is pleased to announce its new open source protocol offering, Consensys Quorum. Consensys Quorum is an open source protocol layer that serves as a foundation for businesses to build public or private Ethereum-based enterprise solutions. Consensys Quorum is made up of four layers of open source codebase: client software, private transaction management, external transaction signing, and additional tooling.

For help with the implementation and maintenance of the open source layer, developers and businesses can request subscription-based support from Consensys Quorum Support. Our support team consists of developers and expert contributors across all the open source projects under Consensys Quorum.

On top of the open source layer, developers and businesses can also deploy a range of institutional-grade product features developed by Consensys to enable asset tokenization and management, payments, document management, workflow optimization, risk compliance, and more.

What the Acquisition Means for Businesses and Developers

The acquisition of Quorum by Consensys signals an important step in the ecosystem’s commitment to enterprise adoption and development. With Quorum, Consensys will expand its enterprise Ethereum offerings in three primary ways: 1) commitment to open source development, 2) aligned evolution and development for both private and public enterprise solutions, and 3) more robust production-grade features on top of open source codebases.

Commitment to Open Source Development

Under Consensys, Consensys Quorum will remain an open source codebase, available for anyone to begin building production-grade applications. Robust documentation will be maintained by the Consensys protocol engineering team. Consensys Quorum will continue Consensys’ long history of open source protocol development, particularly with the continued development of Hyperledger Besu, the mainnet-compatible Ethereum client.

Consensys also offers support subscriptions for Consensys Quorum to accelerate time to market and provide confidence in production networks. The goal is to ensure the ability to build blockchain-based solutions remains permissionless, while also providing support services to accelerate adoption if needed.

Private and Public Enterprise Solutions

To date, Consensys has maintained Hyperledger Besu, a mainnet-compatible Enterprise Ethereum client. Under JPM, Quorum has supported many enterprise-grade solutions on private Ethereum-based networks. With the acquisition, Consensys Quorum will align the development of both private-permissioned and mainnet-compatible enterprise solutions, enabling a more complete and robust evolution of blockchain technology among businesses. In the near future, Consensys will work towards making GoQuorum interoperable with Hyperledger Besu, aligning with Consensys’ vision of enabling both private and public network use cases.

Production-Grade Features and Services

With the acquisition, Consensys will accelerate the development of a suite of products that run on the Consensys Quorum open source protocol layer. These product modules enable a configurable approach to enterprise applications, allowing businesses across industries to build highly customized solutions to fit specific needs. The intention of these product modules—paired with the open source nature of the Consensys Quorum codebases—is to open the doors to theoretically limitless business adoption. 

Altogether, the acquisition of Quorum solidifies Consensys as the go-to source for enterprises seeking to learn more about, explore options for, and eventually build production-grade solutions that fit their business needs.

A Detailed Look at Consensys Quorum: The Complete Open Source Blockchain Protocol Layer for Business

With the announcement of the acquisition, Consensys Quorum developers will have a choice of two open source stacks to build on: Go-based GoQuorum or Java-based Hyperledger Besu. 

The Go-based stack (previously known as “Quorum” under JPM) includes the GoQuorum client software, the Tessera private transaction manager, and the EthSigner private key manager. The Java-based Hyperledger Besu stack will consist of the same projects that are known and used by Consensys today, recategorized under Consensys Quorum. The Java-based stack includes the Hyperledger Besu client software, the Orion private transaction manager, and the EthSigner external transaction signer.

ConsenSys Quorum Open Source Layer

With the announcement of the acquisition, Hyperledger Besu, Orion, EthSigner will be bundled in the Consensys Quorum offering along with GoQuorum and Tessera. As mentioned above, Consensys Quorum will now give developers the option to choose between the Go-based GoQuorum or Java-based Hyperledger Besu stacks. In the near future, we will be adding additional functionality to Quorum, enhancing the developer experience and providing value-added functionality further up the stack.

PegaSys Orchestrate will join the Codefi application suite as Codefi Orchestrate, a collection of core technical components for every enterprise blockchain solution. Codefi Orchestrate will include the expanded capabilities to accelerate the production of enterprise blockchain solutions, reduce development costs, and quicken time-to-market. It will connect a number of Codefi product modules and features with the Quorum open source protocol layer.

PegaSys Plus will be replaced by Consensys Quorum Support, a subscription-based support service providing developers and businesses with on-demand support for the Quorum open source protocol projects. Consensys Quorum Support also offers plugins, which extend the Hyperledger Besu Ethereum client and provide functionality to address additional enterprise requirements.

PegaSys Teku and R&D won’t be going anywhere. In the coming months, they will live elsewhere within Consensys, but the work will continue uninterrupted. For the time being, they can still be found on the PegaSys site.

Evolving and Accelerating Enterprise Adoption With Consensys Quorum

Consensys is building a suite of products that can be built on the Consensys Quorum open source protocol layer. These product modules enable businesses to build customizable solutions optimized for their specific industry needs. Among other features, these feature modules enable asset tokenization and management, payments, document management, workflow optimizatifon, and risk compliance.

The enterprise product modules are all compatible with the Quorum open source layer through Codefi Orchestrate. Orchestrate enables businesses to build blockchain-powered applications by simplifying the development and connectivity of business applications with the Ethereum blockchain.

ConsenSys Quorum Enterprise Stack

How to Get Started With Consensys Quorum 

Everything you need to get started with Quorum as either a developer or a business can be found on the Consensys Quorum site. Our developer page includes further information about the open source codebases and links to our documentation. Our product page explains the product modules available on top of Quorum and contact information to begin building enterprise applications on top of Quorum. If you are an enterprise or developer looking for hands-on support, contact us here.

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