Welcome IBM and Tata Communications to the Hedera Governing Council
Aug 12, 2019
by Gehrig Kunz

Hedera announced the initial council members in March 2019, and laid out more details on the governance model, and its importance to our decentralized future.

In June, we at Hedera were surprised (and honestly, as we said, a bit flattered), when Facebook rolled out their plans for Libra, the distributed ledger and its governance model – a model that borrows heavily from the Hedera governance model first shared with Facebook in early 2018, and shared publicly since spring of last year.

We take governance seriously, and have been pleased to see the industry shift to an understanding of the kind of governance model it will take to develop and sustain a truly enterprise-grade public ledger.

Today, we are pleased to welcome our two newest members, IBM and Tata Communications, to this esteemed group of governing members. These global organizations, alongside the rest of the Hedera Governing Council, are committed to driving innovation and growth in distributed ledger technology, and have signed on as stewards of the Hedera Hashgraph public ledger. Here’s a little more about our latest members:


IBM

Industry IT

Headquarters Armonk, NY

Market cap $120B USD

IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. The company's research, technical and business experts have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.


Tata Communications

Industry Telecommunications

Headquarters Pune, India

Market cap $1.9B USD

Tata Communications is a leading provider of global digital infrastructure services, and provides the integrated, globally managed tech solutions that underpin the fast-growing digital economy. Tata Communications is present in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, serves over 7,000 customers globally that represent over 300 of the Fortune 500, connects 4 out of 5 mobile subscribers worldwide, and connects businesses to 60% of the world’s cloud giants.



The importance of decentralization

For true decentralization, we must consider multiple factors, including: the governing body itself, the nodes running on a public network, the technology operating on said nodes, and the distribution of stake (cryptocurrency) required in proof-of-stake systems for nodes to achieve consensus / prevent attack.

Leemon shared more about our path to decentralization in a recent webinar. I would encourage anyone interested in learning about how to securely define a path to continued decentralization of a distributed network to watch it.

Our governing council plays a key role in this path, and in our continued commitment to decentralization, and our newest members demonstrate the commitment to the quality and diversification of the council, across global industries and regions. These organizations bring unique expertise to the table that will shape the network’s future, while ensuring that no single entity has too much power.

Governance model

At scale, the Hedera Governing Council will comprise 39 term-limited members that each have an equal vote and share in oversight of the Hedera network, including issues such as the direction of software that will eventually run on thousands of public nodes, and the Hedera platform codebase. Members serve for 3-year terms, with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms, and have an equal say in all decisions submitted to a vote. Members do not pay a fee to join, and do not make money from interest payments. No member (or minority group of members) can fork the network, platform, or cryptocurrency; the hashgraph consensus algorithm is proprietary with open review code, and a no-fork guarantee.

Our model separates governance from consensus. When comparing the Hedera Governing Council to other networks, it is important to note that, while council members will run nodes, once the network’s testing phase is complete and adding a node is permissionless (anyone can add a node and contribute to consensus) the council will have no priority over other nodes. For common questions related to governance, be sure to check out the Hedera FAQ.

We are thrilled to welcome IBM and Tata Communications to the Hedera Governing Council and look forward to them playing a critical role to shape the future of Hedera.