Prominent leaders in the blockchain space have formed a new group with the aim of promoting blockchain’s use cases, increasing collaboration within the industry and addressing blockchain governance. According to a newly published ten points agreement participants state that despite the blockchain being a decentralized technology:
“Like-minded people and groups can self-organize to voice their valuable perspectives, collaborate and solve problems in a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder fashion. Especially as the Internet Provides new means and mechanisms to do so.” The agreement is the result of a meeting between 16 prominent blockchain experts and industry leaders at the family compound of Don Tapscott, best-selling author of numerous books, including Wikinomics, and his son Alex Tapscott, who together have recently published Blockchain Revolution. Speaking to CCN, the Tapscotts state:
“Technology is not a panacea. Without strong leadership from everyone in this industry – working collaboratively – blockchain may never reach its potential. The technology genie is at our disposal, once again, to reshape the world of business and the old order of human affairs for the better- if we will it. Time is of the essence and we hope our efforts will get people thinking critically about why governance and stewardship matters.”
The ten “consensus conclusions” include the development of a roadmap and action plan to assist new government administrations, the use of the Linux Foundation which “is committed to take additional steps to encourage the development of advanced programming talent in the blockchain space” and, among others, the launch of a blockchain hub after conducting “a research project to inventory, categorize and analyze the current blockchain ecosystem – organizations, networks and individuals, [as well as] identify key gaps and outline strategies for moving forward.”
The governance network is based on a new system called the Global Solutions Network Program and detailed in a freely available paper by Alex Tapscott where he states:
“Four Global Solution Network (GSN) types will play a critical role in a [blockchain] governance network. Global standards networks are needed to set technical standards for interoperability and other key performance issues for the industry. Policy networks are required to provide international guidance on issues such as crime, fraud, consumer protection, money-laundering, and other substantive policy issues. Watchdog networks will scrutinize the actions of powerful stakeholders in the ecosystem and ensure that all players behave ethically and observe key standards set by the community. Finally, knowledge networks will help to educate and inform a growing network of diverse stakeholders, including government policymakers, merchants and users.”
Overall this sets an all-rounded approach for the entire blockchain space with the individuals in attendance broadly representative of the current wider blockchain ecosystem. From the private blockchain space, Brian Behlendorf, founder of the Hyperledger project which is supported by tech giants such as IBM as well as financial institutions such as JP Morgan, was in attendance. From the public blockchain space the meeting had Joseph Lubin, founder of Consensys, the Ethereum based development powerhouse that has already incubated numerous new start-ups, such as MetaMask and Uport; Jamie Smith, former deputy White House press secretary who is now chief global communications officer of BitFury, Matthew Roszak, co-founder of Bloq, a blockchain based development start-up that is private or public blockchain agnostic, as well as others.