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Genesis

In human history, revolutionary techniques have empowered individuals and transformed society as well as human lives as we see in the case of the Internet advancing the open and global communication network while causing unforeseen unintended consequences.

Blockchain technology is giving rise to significant innovation that holds out the hope of serving as a new permissionless, yet trustable, foundation for financial inclusion. Blockchain has the potential to make our networked societies better by providing all of us with unique opportunities to participate in order-building processes in a more transparent, open and safe manner.

At this moment, such disruptive technology inevitably poses tensions with the existing order and ways of doing things. The Internet, one of the most successful examples of the power of decentralized community-building, became a global and borderless communication platform by steadily overcoming a number of societal and regulatory challenges through the gradual development and adoption of the ‘multi-stakeholder’ governance approach to cyberspace.

Blockchain, which works on the Internet and lives with its architectural designs, also requires proper coordination to achieve the necessary balance between disruptive innovation and societal stability goals. Bearing in mind lessons learned from the Internet experience, we should design new governance frameworks for a blockchain ecosphere.

We hereby wish to organize the Blockchain Governance Initiative Network (BGIN), which shall serve as an open platform for diverse stakeholder discussions and further sustainable development of the ecosystem within the blockchain ecosphere.

As an open network, we are now actively seeking interested parties*1 to join this initiative, so as to accommodate diverse opinions from a wide range of stakeholders*2.

*1 Although it is not an exhaustive list, tentatively we recognize the following stakeholders as those who may have particular interests in our initiative.

  • Technologists: protocol developers, operators, and researchers responsible for the computer code
  • Regulators and policymakers: responsible for developing regulations and enforcing them
  • Exchange Interface Operators: Cryptocurrency Exchanges as well as any other custodial services
  • Users and Civil Society
  • Commercial service providers (financial institutions, decentralized financial service providers and other related businesses)

*2 At BGIN, we expect cooperation among stakeholders. For example, participants share issues they are facing and other stakeholders help them tackle these challenges; e.g. Financial regulators face challenges in enforcing Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing regulations when a decentralized system enables peer-to-peer transactions with sophisticated privacy enhancement and hence are seeking cooperation from other stakeholders.

Our Core Values

  • BGIN focuses on real world tangible impact to serve social good in order to advance society rather than just becoming a discussion forum.
  • BGIN is an open and inclusive network where anyone can join and contribute to the discussions and the outcomes.
  • BGIN values diversity. We actively seek participation from under-represented groups.
  • BGIN makes its discussion and decision making process transparent through proactive public communications.
  • BGIN takes a fully bottom-up process in which any single party cannot dictate discussion and has no top-down decision making.
  • BGIN values fairness and neutrality among participants. We strictly avoid serving any particular interest of any particular stakeholder group.

Initial Contributors (Alphabetical order)

  • Julien Bringer (Kallistech)
  • Brad Carr (Institute of International Finance)
  • Michele Finck (Max Planck Institute for Innovation)
  • Joaquin Garcia-Alfaro (Institut Mines-Télécom / Institut Polytechnique de Paris)
  • Byron Gibson (Stanford Center for Blockchain Research)
  • Hui Li (Huobi Blockchain Academy)
  • Philip Martin (Coinbase)
  • Shin’ichiro Matsuo*** (BSafe.network / Georgetown University)
  • Jumpei Miwa (Financial Services Agency, JAPAN*3)
  • Katharina Pistor (Columbia Law School)
  • Nii Quaynor (Ghana Dot Com Ltd)
  • Jeremy Rubin
  • Danny Ryan (Ethereum Foundation)
  • David Ripley (Kraken)
  • Nat Sakimura (OpenID Foundation)
  • Kazue Sako (Sovrin Foundation)
  • Mai Santamaria*** (Ireland Department of Finance)
  • Yuji Suga (Internet Initiative Japan Inc. / CGTF)
  • Shigeya Suzuki (BSafe.network / Keio University / WIDE Project / BASE alliance)
  • Yuta Takanashi (Financial Services Agency, JAPAN / ex-Georgetown University)
  • Robert Wardrop (Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance)
  • Pindar Wong (VeriFi (Hong Kong) Limited)
  • Aaron Wright (Cardozo Law School)

*** Acting Co-Chairs of BGIN appointed at the inaugural meeting

Note: All members act in their individual capacity and not as representatives of their organizations

*3 It should be noted that JFSA is an active supporter of BGIN, but not the initiator. They just hosted a global conference where the establishment of BGIN was announced. Press release from JFSA reiterates “In the session, Dr. Shin’ichiro Matsuo (Research Professor, Georgetown University) made public the launch of a new global network named “Blockchain Governance Initiative Network” (BGIN – pronounced ‘BEGIN’).” See. JFSA (2020), “Launch of a new global network for blockchain "Blockchain Governance Initiative Network" (BGIN)”, https://www.fsa.go.jp/en/news/2020/20200310.html