The blockchain competition is over and Ethereum has won, an Ernst & Young blockchain leader has told Australian Blockchain Week. Businesses need to get on board before they are left behind.

“It’s going to be an Ethereum world,” Paul Brody told members of the crypto industry gathered at an auditorium in the ASX on Monday afternoon, rebutting the popular notion that the future will be “multichain”.

Ninty per cent of all NFTs and 50 per cent of all DeFi dollars are on Ethereum and its scaling solutions, Brody said, and the vast majority of software engineers are working on Ethereum.

(According to DeFi Llama, Ethereum has actually been losing market share to competing blockchains since about the start of 2021, something Brody didn’t address. But Ethereum has several upgrades scheduled for the next year or so, starting with the proof-of-stake merge in June, aimed at addressing its shortcomings).

Networks typically coalesce on a single standard, such as Internet’s TCP/IP protocol, Brody said in arguing against the notion that the future will be multichain.

“There are absolutely better blockchains out there — and the important thing to remember is that the best technology never wins,” Brody said.

All those devices on your wrist, in your pocket or in your home aren’t the best technology — just the ones that won, Brody told the audience of roughly 150, plus others watching online.

The case for urgency

Brody, who has led EY’s blockchain practice from its San Francisco office since 2015 and before that worked on blockchains for IBM, said that business leaders should not be complacent or wait for the crypto space to mature before jumping in.

He cited companies like GM, Cisco and SAP as businesses that gained market share early and never lost it for decades and decades.

“You need to be fighting now,” for the potential of decades of profit, he said.

“The stakes are enormous and it’s absolutely not early days. We are in the late stages when it comes to market leadership.”

CBA’s pilot crypto project

Earlier, Sophie Gilder, head of blockchain and digital assets for Commonwealth Bank, told Blockchain Week that the bank’s foray into a retail-facing crypto project was going smoothly.

The biggest complaint has been from people who have been excluded from the pilot project, which is running on CBA’s CommBank app with a limited number of people.

The test participants are getting to buy and sell 10 selected cryptocurrencies — BitcoinEthereumBitcoin CashLitecoin, Uniswap, Chainlink, Polygon, FilecoinAave and Compound.

Gilder said that the bank was adding to its blockchain team and has planned to double it, inviting applicants.