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A Look at VMware Blockchain for Ethereum Beta 1 Release

We’re excited to share a new beta release of VMware Blockchain for Ethereum is now available! With 150+ beta customers and counting, it’s been amazing to see the positive response we’ve had from our beta community since the program launched in August 2022. Here’s what’s new in the latest beta release of the Developer Kit:

  • Privacy: As part of our plan towards a privacy SDK, this release contains a sample privacy application, privacy wallet and smart contracts to allow users to experiment with these privacy building blocks
  • Governance: A pre-deployed Permissioning smart contract that allows control over which accounts can access the blockchain
  • EthRPC API: Enhancements to support event subscriptions from smart contracts and the ability to filter these events
  • Deployment: Simplified deployment on Kubernetes clusters using Helm charts
  • Ecosystem tools: Support for Fireblocks MPC wallets (available upon request, contact us via slack) and support for Web3 Labs Sirato Blockchain Explorer (formerly Epirus)

Privacy Application Demo

Earlier this year, we published research on how UnTraceable Transactions (UTT) can be used to ensure accountable privacy in decentralized Ecash. We then led a co-innovation project to support the Bank of Israel’s experimentation with the digital shekel.

For the Beta 1 release, we introduce a Privacy Application Demo enabling developers to showcase an end-to-end private token transfer dApp. The privacy capability consists of a client-side zero-knowledge proof library that interacts with on-chain Solidity token contracts using standard JavaScript integration libraries such as Ethersjs or Web3js. The token contracts can be modified to change token details, token supply, and privacy budgets.

The demo shows the generation of zero-knowledge proofs, and the on-chain token contracts leverage pre-compiled contract code to perform proof validation. With this approach, the complexity of Zero Knowledge Proof cryptography is abstracted from developers, enabling them to focus on the dApp and token design. We will make the privacy capability to developers for use in their applications in future beta releases.

VMware Blockchain for Ethereum introduces a privacy demo that allows participants on a blockchain network to privately send tokens to each other.

Governance controls (permissioning)

In this release, VMware Blockchain for Ethereum will implement “account permissioning” in accordance with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) specifications to provide the necessary tools and granularity to govern actions permitted by accounts on the blockchain. Permissioning in the context of enterprise blockchains is a required feature for our customers as they seek ways to control access to deploy and execute smart contracts running on the blockchain. The account permissioning feature can be enabled during network creation by providing the necessary parameters in the deployment configurations file. The compiled permissioning smart contract and the account(s) that can grant permissions to other addresses should also be included in the genesis file. The “permission admin” user can use a dApp or the permissioning user interface to control which accounts are allowed to send transactions and specify the type of transactions permitted. Types of transaction can be READ, WRITE and DEPLOY permissions to other accounts. The dApp should be the preferred method to grant access to a large number of accounts.

VMware Blockchain for Ethereum introduces the ability for the blockchain node operator to grant Read, Write, and/or Deploy permissions to addresses on the blockchain network

Ecosystem integrations

The Ethereum ecosystem has the broadest and most mature stack to build blockchain networks. VMware Blockchain for Ethereum was built with these comprehensive integration capabilities in mind so customers can leverage the existing investments within the Ethereum ecosystem. This allows access to these integrations to make the most of an Ethereum investment, providing seamless support under one umbrella.

The beta supports standard Ethereum APIs, commonly used development tools such as Truffle, Hardhat, Remix, Web3j, Ethersjs, and wallets like MetaMask and Fireblocks to enable a seamless developer experience. Early usage of VMware Blockchain’s integration capabilities include Fireblocks, a digital asset and crypto technology platform used by over 1,500 customers, and Web3 Labs, a leading web3 and blockchain technology and strategy company specializing in enterprise solutions. Their Sirato Blockchain Explorer and Web3j library makes it easier to build and manage Ethereum applications at scale.

VMware Blockchain for Ethereum, through Ethereum APIs, supports integrations with standard Ethereum tooling such as Remix, Truffle, Web3J/JS/PY, OpenZepplin, MetaMask, Hardhat, etc.

Early customers of VMware Blockchain for Ethereum

With its focus on enterprise needs, VMware Blockchain has been adopted in two separate trials: 1) The Bank of Israel and 2) Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In the Bank of Israel trial, VMware Blockchain UTT privacy feature was used where wallets held had both ordinary digital shekels as well as a monthly allocation of 1000 private digital shekels where the transactions are not recorded openly on the blockchain. The VMware solution combines zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) and eCash, a privacy concept developed by early digital currency inventor David Chaum that originally didn’t use blockchain. In the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange pilot project, VMware Blockchain will provide the Ethereum backbone to enable TASE to tokenize bonds, sending them to participants’ digital wallets while the issuance consideration, in digital currency, is transferred from the participants to the state of Israel’s own wallet, according to a statement.

Get Started with VMware Blockchain for Ethereum Beta

VMware Blockchain for Ethereum is available to download and run locally on your laptop or in the cloud! Just sign up to download the Developer Kit by registering for the VMware Blockchain for Ethereum beta program here.

Resources:

  • If you liked this release update, follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on the latest VMware Blockchain information
  • Are you interested in learning more about VMware Blockchain requirements and usage? Refer to our online product documentation.
  • Questions? Contact the VMware Blockchain group via Slack.

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