In 2017, we founded Swisscom Blockchain as a subsidiary of Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd, the Swiss national telecommunications operator and the leading ICT infrastructure provider in Switzerland with the mission to bring forward digital transformation initiatives that leverage blockchain-related solutions and services in Switzerland and internationally.
We were proud to be one of the inaugural five council members to join officially, and we were part of the announcement in February 2018 at the Hedera Forum in Seoul. However, for now, the Hedera Governing Council will continue on without the Swisscom Blockchain. Personally, I am leaving Swisscom to pursue a Global Executive MBA. I’m going to stay involved with Hedera in an advisor role, and am excited to keep driving enterprise adoption of Hedera in companies with whom I have relationships in Europe and the Middle East.
Swisscom has high regard for Hedera Hashgraph as a game-changing technology in the public distributed ledger space and will continue to support and implement Hedera Hashgraph in both internal and external projects to meet the needs of Swisscom customers and partners. I’m personally excited to watch the future unfold for Hedera Hashgraph.
Technical Steering & Growth committee participation
One of the committees Swisscom Blockchain was heavily involved in is the Technical Steering Committee. We’ve brought our technical chops to the table, sharing our wide-ranging experience and industry insights with a variety of permissioned and permissionless protocols and infrastructural solutions, at firm to help bring the best functionalities and features to Hedera.
We’ve incorporated best practices learned with these technologies. A top priority for the Technical Steering Committee today is to ensure that all council member nodes are decentralized, running on independent network infrastructure by the end of 2020 — today, a majority of nodes are running in their own environment, controlled by each member, but there is still work to do. Additionally, we’re committed to providing product development feedback we’ve received from our clients in the market.
Swisscom Blockchain projects with Hedera Hashgraph
Swisscom is especially fond of the fact that Hedera is a public network with (eventually) permissionless consensus — everyone has access to build on the network, and everyone will eventually have access to contribute to consensus by running a node. That was combined with its permissioned governing model (Hedera Governing Council), which brings stability to anyone looking to build an enterprise-grade application on a public distributed ledger network. The Council’s representation across various industries, geographies, and time brings different perspectives to the table for creating the best protocol for the next generation of public distributed ledger applications.
I’m incredibly proud of the work that the Swisscom Blockchain team has conducted with Hedera Hashgraph. One of our most prominent projects was the development of the DID (decentralized identity) standards with Hedera, which were submitted to the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). We realize that a key component of any business solution is going to rely on decentralized identity — the DID standards we created are a foundational step forward for the Hedera developer and business community.
Swisscom Blockchain dedicated a team of three engineers to specify and implement those standards. We published the OSS SDK for anyone to use, found here: https://github.com/hashgraph/did-sdk-java. You can also read more about the DID initiative in a blog posting by Paul Madsen, Technical Lead at Hedera: https://www.hedera.com/blog/decentralized-identity-on-hedera-consensus-service.
In addition to the Hedera DID project, we have been working in collaboration with other Council Members on various business use cases for enterprises and corporates at international level that leverages Hedera capabilities. We’ve explored the prospect of tokenizing real estate assets on Hedera with some of the largest real estate developers in the Middle East. This project will assist in democratizing real estate investment in that region, while opening the door to new funding opportunities.
In addition, leading enterprises from the region covering oil & gas and airlines have expressed their interest in exploring Hedera capabilities through pilot programs, as well as membership in the Governing Council. I’ll continue to work closely with Hedera on these relationships.
A message from Hedera Hashgraph
We’d like to thank Kamal Youssefi for his leadership on the Hedera Governing council, including his team’s participation in the Technical Steering & Growth committees. Swisscom Blockchain has brought ample technical experience and best practices to the table, bringing guidance to the Hedera Hashgraph roadmap. We’re looking forward to a continued relationship with both Kamal and Swisscom on the development of existing and future projects.