The Baseline Protocol

The Baseline Protocol creates the opportunity for compelling enterprise blockchain solutions by addressing core demands for enterprises looking to use blockchain technology: privacy, permission, and performance. It combines the advantages of public and private blockchains while mitigating their respective drawbacks.
EY and ConsenSys announced the formation of the Baseline Protocol in March of 2019 in collaboration with Microsoft as an open-source initiative. Unibright is among the founding members of the Baseline Technical Steering Committee and each has played a significant role in the design and architecture of the Baseline Protocol and production-ready reference implementation while also serving the community in leadership and governance roles.
The Baseline Protocol is an approach to using a public blockchain (i.e., a mainnet) as the common frame of reference between disparate distributed systems, including traditional corporate systems of record, databases, state machines or even different blockchains. Baseline is a particularly promising way to reduce capital expenses and other overhead while increasing operational integrity when automating interorganizational business processes and data sharing.
Baseline – synchronizing off-chain systems of record on a public blockchain
The Baseline Protocol enables confidential and complex collaboration between enterprises without sharing sensitive data on-chain. It enables the execution of workflow business logic under zero-knowledge. It supports tokenization and DeFi while leaving enterprise data safely in traditional systems with zero impact on end users.
Participants in a business process, such as subsidiaries or business partners (like subcontractors) collaborate under various agreements, but may struggle to verify or reconcile those agreements — in other words, to trust that terms and conditions that have already been agreed upon are actually followed. Baseline enables trust among organizations which otherwise have no reason to trust one another by using a public blockchain to store relevant proofs, while leaving sensitive business data off-chain.

In partnership with CONA Services (Coke One North America), work is being done on baselining the Coca-Cola Bottling Supply Chain in North America . In 2019, the first set of CONA Bottlers adopted a blockchain platform based on Hyperledger Fabric, which runs on SAP's Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. CONA is now extending this use case from an internal network to a larger audience utilizing the Baseline Protocol. The goal of the initiative is to establish a “Coca-Cola Bottling Harbor,” offering a low barrier to entry for additional Coca-Cola bottlers. The Harbor will benefit not only internal CONA bottlers, but also external bottlers and their suppliers (e.g. raw materials vendors supplying cans and bottles), who will have access to a private, distributed integration network and DeFi-native invoice factoring. The project is using the Baseline Protocol and technology stack built to combine the advantages of permissioned and permissionless blockchain networks with the Baseline Protocol design pattern. Still, with the use of Ethereum as the public mainnet, there are ongoing discussions regarding its highly unpredictable performance and cost structures.

Together with Fraunhofer IPK, Unibright is collaborating on baselining additive manufacturing . A blockchain demonstrator for an additive manufacturing plant that is available at the Fraunhofer IPK and based on Hyperledger Fabric has been adapted to the guidelines of the Baseline Protocol and expanded to include integration into SAP. Through joint research activities, the potential of the Baseline Protocol for the manufacturing industry has been shown. In follow-up projects, common standards for the use of Baseline in Industry 4.0 and IoT are to be developed together with manufacturing companies. One key question — especially in relation to IoT — is which platform can support up to billions of devices from a performance, cost, and data ownership perspective? In integrated manufacturing, there is ongoing discussion on how to integrate blockchain systems with surrounding off-chain systems like SAP and various Microsoft ERP systems.

This collaboration between Serbian blockchain factoring startup and Unibright, explores baselined invoice tokenization with Between factoring platform . Off-chain integration leveraging zero-knowledge proofs enable the provenance of an invoice to be verified prior to workflow exit; upon exit, qualifying invoices are tokenized. After tokenizing the invoice, it can be considered a financial instrument which can be sent to a lending facility for inclusion in a tranche or pool of collateralized assets categorized by type and risk. Baseline amplifies the value chain to the benefit of the parties that can then extract it without compromising the privacy of any counterparty. In other words, a factoring company can tokenize an invoice without knowing any details about the parties involved. The Baseline Protocol enables investors to verify a transaction happened and that a credit risk assessment has indicated the transaction is suitable for tokenization. The investor thus knows that his/her money is invested in a rated financial instrument and that the projected returns are sound.
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The Idea of the Baseline Protocol
Example Use-Cases