Blockchain Executives Sign Pledge to Address Governance Issues

By August 29, 2016Bitcoin Business
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Executives representing the top-level leadership at a range of blockchain companies and projects have signed a letter calling for a new focus on perceived issues with blockchain governance.

Calling themselves the 'Muskoka Group', the 14 executives include leaders building a diverse set of open-source distributed ledgers, as well as the heads of notable for-profit startups.

The letter, published today, follows a two-day governance workshop held by authors Don and Alex Tapscott in Muskoka, Canada, one that the organizers said he found participants focusing on the "big picture" surrounding the technology.

Don Tapscott told CoinDesk:

"There was a strong sense that we need a rising tide to lift all boats."

Concrete steps attendees will seek to take include exploring how to fund a "Blockchain Hub" using the Global Solutions Network (GSN) program and whether to create a "network of networks to help coalesce the community".

Signatories of the letter included Brian Behlendorf, managing director of the Hyperledger Project; Perianne Boring, founder of Chamber of Digital Commerce; Joseph Lubin, founder of Consensus Systems; Matthew Roszak, founder of Bloq; Pindar Wong, chairman of VeriFi; and Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

Action resolved

As part of this effort, the group wants to develop a "roadmap and action plan" to help signatories better collaborate with "leaders at the municipal, state, federal and supranational level" to develop blockchain strategies.

To help spur that collaboration along, the group also proposed launching a "syndicated research program" to study how blockchain tech might impact industry, government and society.

"The world needs horizontal research investigating areas such as supply chains, asset tracking, marketing and management. We need vertical research into industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and government," the letter read.

Toward that end, Tapscott spoke out about how governance issues are harming perception of the technology more broadly and holding back wider adoption.

Tapscott concluded:

"'It’s clear that decentralization and self organization should not be confused with disorganization. We need better collaboration and coordination in this ecosystem."

The actions follow the notable struggles of the ethereum community following a recent technical change, and amid an ongoing debate in the bitcoin community of how best to increase the network's transaction capacity.

Image of the Muskoka Group via website

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