|Key People||Joseph Lubin, Vitalik Buterin|
|Products||Ethereum-based applications; fintech and business consulting|
ConsenSys Inc. is a startup dedicated to aiding the creation of businesses that use Ethereum to create decentralized applications. It was founded by Joseph Lubin, one of the co-developers of Ethereum, in 2015.
In its early days, the company was focused on launching new products. For example, ConsenSys began working with the data management firm Amalto to create an automated, blockchain-powered, ticket-based order system for the oil and gas industry in June 2018. ConsenSys also launched Tachyon, an Ethereum-focused startup accelerator program to help open-source software, social impact, and general Ethereum startups receive education and seed funding to develop applications on the Ethereum blockchain in 2018. Tachyon has been re-released twice since then, the most recent iteration launching in 2019.
Consensys operates an electronic retail-level electricity market with a company called Grid+. The Ethereum-based technology platform supplied by Consensys addresses payments and relies on existing energy grids.
In October of 2018, the company acquired Planetary Resources Inc., an asteroid-mining venture that had planned to use Ethereum-based smart contracts for commerce in space.
Ups and downs
In December 2018, Joseph Lubin announced that Consensys would cut its staff by 13 percent. In a letter Lubin sent to employees, he said that the project would focus on improving its efficiency and cutting off underperforming projects. He said this was in part due to the significant decrease in cryptocurrency prices throughout 2018, as well as the increasingly competitive nature of the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces.
Despite losses, the investment arm of the company, ConsenSys Ventures, announced in January 2019 that it had invested in two blockchain startups: $1 million in the French wallet and trading platform Coinhouse, and an undisclosed amount to Tenta, an encryption-protected Internet browser.
In February 2020, ConsenSys announced during a company-wide meeting that the company would undergo a major restructuring process, dividing the company into two parts: one focused on software development and the other on startup investment. As part of the restructure, 14 percent of staff would be laid off.
Development deal with J.P. Morgan
In a potentially transformative transaction, ConsenSys announced on August 25, 2020 that it had acquired Quorum, a variant of the Ethereum blockchain developed by JPMorgan Chase & Co.. The company said it would merge its existing protocol with Quorum, allowing it to choose the best of both protocols. The bank made an investment in ConsenSys of an undisclosed amount at the same time. The company said that J.P. Morgan will be a customer for the advanced features that are developed.
When Microsoft told its Azure Blockchain customers in May 2021 that it was exiting the blockchain business later that year, it pointed customers to Quorum as an alternative. In its migration guide, Microsoft noted that ConsenSys already supports Azure as ledger technology. It further noted that ConsenSys's Quorum entails no extra management overhead nor additional learning.
Central Bank Digital Currency Development
In October 2020, ConsenSys announced via a blog post that Societe Generale - Forge, the digital capital markets arm of the French bank Societe Generale - had selected ConsenSys to provide technology and expert support services to the bank to aid in its development of a CBDC pilot.
- Harness the power of Ethereum. ConsenSys.
- Crypto Non-Profits Are Flawed – Zcash Thinks It Can Change That. Coindesk.
- ConsenSys And Amalto Developing Ethereum Blockchain Platform For Oil And Gas Order Processing. Forbes.
- Ethereum Accelerator to Offer Crypto Coders Resources and 'Reality Check'. Coindesk.
- Introducing Tachyon III — an Open Finance Accelerator from Consensys. Consensys blog.
- ConsenSys Has Begun Using Ethereum to Supply Electricity to Texas. CCN.
- Asteroid Mining Company Planetary Resources Acquired by Blockchain Firm. Space.com.
- ConsenSys Confirms Layoffs, Projecting 13% of Staff at Startups to Be Cut. Coindesk.
- Bitcoin Bear Market Forces Ethereum Cofounder To Make Changes. Forbes.
- ConsenSys Invests in Two Crypto Startups to Lead VCs Into Ethereum Ecosystem. Coindesk.
- Ethereum company ConsenSys to divide software and investment businesses, cuts staff by 14% as it aims for $200M raise. The Block.
- ConsenSys to Cut 14% Staff Amid Major Restructuring. FinanceMagnates.
- ConsenSys Acquires Quorum Platform from J.P. Morgan. PR Newswire.
- Migrate Azure Blockchain Service. Microsoft.
- Hong Kong Reportedly Picks ConsenSys for Digital Currency Pilot Project. Coindesk.
- ConsenSys Selected by Societe Generale - Forge to Provide Technology and Expertise for its Central Bank Digital Currency Experiments. ConsenSys.
- Ethereum Developer ConsenSys to Assist French Bank With CBDC Pilot. Coindesk.