In December 2021, the Baseline Protocol Core Developer Community, an EEA community project, demonstrated how to baseline an Excel spreadsheet using other systems of record

Almost 35 years after its inception, Microsoft Excel is now a staple for many organizations. It is used to enter, manage, store, report and analyze sensitive data on a daily basis. Forrester Research found that 80% of companies trust Excel[1], even in the most sophisticated financial institutions, and it remains essential for accountants and auditors. Bank reporting is still based on Excel and wealth management is almost entirely done on Excel. Every minute of every day, sensitive data is packed into an Excel spreadsheet and sent from one counterparty to another.

As we enter the age of verified multi-party workflows and more and more information management systems rely on highly secure coordination techniques like the Baseline Protocol, it is only natural that Microsoft Excel should be one of the most important baseline applications. Businesses today must prove that they have the same information (and demonstrate attributes of that information to others) without disclosing confidential data and business logic. Since much of this information resides on spreadsheets and is only nominally backed up, it’s high time to baseline it.

So that’s what we did. We created Excel as a baseline. In two different ways. And then we released both demonstrations as open source so more developers could do the same. In both cases, we’ve made it possible to use zero-knowledge proofs – baseline proofs, as we call them – provably in syncze Fully exchange data between an Excel worksheet and either another Excel worksheet or another information management system.

Baseledge Excel demo by

As a demonstration of using our publicly-licensed blockchain baseledger, Unibright presented an Excel demo of two participants wanting to base sync a name field in Excel.

One of the simplest cases of baselining is shown in this example, in which two or more Excel spreadsheets are baselined simply to ensure that changes to a cell on one sheet stay in sync with changes in a corresponding cell on another sheet.

Proposed state changes to baseline Excel fields in the following demo are subject to approval by both coordinating parties. If a proposed change of state is consented to, evidence representing consent must be verified. Once this statement has been confirmed, this evidence is stored in the chain and the Excel fields can be updated. Overall, the baseline method applied between Excel documents provides a verified guarantee of correctness and consistency between multiple parties. This approach prevents discrepancies from going unnoticed or having to be resolved at a later date, where it becomes costly for businesses.

In the demo we have defined the workflow in two steps.

The first agrees surname, surname and First namethe second agrees on a nickname. All proposals, versions and approvals are summarized in a “TrustMesh”, a multi-dimensional version approval graph that has already been used in the SAP2SAP synchronization demo by our partners at Concircle. Each TrustMesh element is anchored in Baseledger, and the finalization additionally anchors all Baseledger steps in Ethereum Ropsten.


Excel Connector by Provide

The Provide team worked with Defii’s Biswashree Dey to extend the Baseline protocol framework to Microsoft Excel users to work toward delivering financial inclusiveness in enterprise ecosystems.

Provide’s Excel connector leverages the Baseline protocol via Provide-supported APIs that enable synchronization between Excel and any other System of Record (SOR). Using the soon to be available open source baseline API, the connector leverages a mapping API to match data structures between SORs. When data is updated in an Excel spreadsheet, the Baseline API is used to enforce state transitions and ensure synchronization between workgroup participants.


Without a doubt, Excel baselining is a significant achievement that will help countless users ensure data consistency across all parties, streamline business, and reduce instances of data discrepancy disputes. We are very pleased to have reached this milestone.

Stay up to date on everything related to the Baseline Protocol on our blog or social channels (Twitter and LinkedIn).


About EEA Community Projects

EEA Community Projects provide a hub for the development of open source standards in the Ethereum industry. It includes critical Ethereum projects such as the Baseline Protocol, a framework that allows companies to privately synchronize complex multi-party business processes. Find out more about EEA collaborative projects here.

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