IBM Takes Majority Control of Hyperledger Blockchain Steering Board

By Lucas Cacioli   Sep 10, 2019 1 Min Read


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IBM has doubled the number of its employees on the technical steering committee (TSC) of Hyperledger according to an announcement by the TSC last week. IBM now holds six out of the eleven committee seats which has raised concerns about the tech giant’s new found influence on the enterprise blockchain consortium.

Of the six IBM employees: five work for IBM directly and one seat is occupied by Mark Wagner, a senior principal engineer at the IBM subsidiary Red Hat. In 2018, the TSC had only two IBM representatives and the same number of total seats. Wagner was serving on the committee at the time, but IBM did not acquire Red Hat until July 2019. The new committee will begin governing following the election of the new TSC chair next week.

The Hyperledger TSC is responsible for creating working groups to focus on technical issues, approving projects and reviewing updates. Although IBM has been a major player in Hyperledger since its inception, the results are making many from rival firms uneasy as IBM will now have the numbers to steer the committee in its favor.

At stake is the direction of one of the three most widely adopted enterprise blockchain platforms, the others being R3’s Corda and variants of the Ethereum blockchain. 

Low voter turnout was also raised as a reason to mistrust IBM’s dominance on the committee, with only 33 percent of Hyperledger members casting ballots.

IBM has not yet offered any comment.


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Lucas Cacioli
Blockchain is the future.

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