Anyone working on coalitions, consortia, or other forms of business cooperation, should pay attention to a new way small federal contractors are banding together in order to better compete for federal work.

Competing bicyclists cooperate to form a peloton. Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash. Image shows a dozen bicyclists riding close together.
Competing bicyclists cooperate to form a peloton. Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash. Image shows a dozen bicyclists riding close together.
Competing bicyclists cooperate to form a peloton. Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

When you only have one buyer

The US government is a monopsony — a monopoly buyer, that is, the only customer buying for a certain set of goods and services from a large number of vendors. …


Voting vs. Signaling in Blockchain Governance

Indicators, Decision-Making, and Governance Design

Group decision-making happens all of the time, whether you and your children are determining which board game to play or your consortium is determining which systems integrator to hire.

Voting vs Signaling in Blockchain Governance
Voting vs Signaling in Blockchain Governance

When we envision “decision-making practices”, we may see people voting on whether or not to take a specific action. We may even envision these parties lobbying each other to choose “the best path forward”. In the governance of blockchain collectives, decision-making involves stakeholders leveraging two distinct indicators; “voting” and “signaling”.[1]

An “Indicator” is any indication made by a stakeholder about their preference for a direction…


Part 1: Introduction for DLT Consortia

DLT as Collective, and its Invisible Asset

Many enterprise technologists overlook the collective nature of their private, permissioned, distributed ledger technology (DLT) systems. (A “blockchain” is one form of DLT.) The essential nature of a distributed ledger is that there is no central authority, no superuser, no administrator. To neglect this fact is to make a profound mistake.

What is implied by the collective nature of DLTs is that your DLT system is only meaningful when multiple autonomous actors believe in it enough to use it — to treat it as a “single source of truth” for their own operations. They will only do this in production…


VeChain is a blockchain platform that focuses on financial services, supply chain management, and smart contracts.

Executive Summary

VeChain is a public permissioned blockchain system. Its purpose is to enable businesses to engage in blockchain mediated transactions with correspondingly higher trust in transparency and immutability of records.

VeChain governance originally followed what I call the the “Village Elders” design pattern early on, and is now using the “Elected Board” design pattern. It’s supplemented by the “KYC Legal Anchor” sub-pattern.

From a “Lessig’s Four Forces” perspective, VeChain appears to have a robust detailed design, utilizing a mutually reinforcing mix of Legal, Cultural, Market…


About the patterns

This is intended to be a living document with frequent revisions and additions.

The following are adapted from the Media Enterprise Design Lab at medlab@colorado.edu under a Creative Commons 4.0 Share-Alike License. Their version can currently be found at https://medlabboulder.gitlab.io/democraticmediums/ and a related site is https://communityrule.info/templates/.

Why Design Patterns for Governance of DLTs / Blockchains?

Governance is by definition the collective[1] management[2] of emergent[3] issues. (See footnotes.) Humans have been doing this for millennia, and have been fighting over it the entire time.

Setting up governance means making a bunch of decisions about future decision-making. Often, clusters of specific decisions seem to support one another and “go together.”

Design…


Highlights of Dr. Cathy Barrera’s MIT Lecture

One of the brightest minds in the tokenomics space, Dr. Cathy Barerra of the Prysm Group, delivered a remarkable lecture at the 2019 MIT Cryptoeconomic Summit on aligning stakeholder incentives when building blockchain systems. This article highlights our key takeaways from the presentation. The full lecture can be found here — a must-watch for anyone building in this space.

Photo of Dr. Cathy Barrera
Photo of Dr. Cathy Barrera
Cathy Barrera, PhD — Founding Economist at Prysm Group

Top Takeaways

Blockchains are markets that are encoded so that individuals can interact and exchange value.

Incentives for performance are used when it is important that participants engage in certain value generating activities but these actions can not be directly observed.

Both areas…


This article provides an overview of the current design of blockchain governance for the Mediledger Project from the viewpoint of its designers at Chronicled.

The questions are drawn from the Wharton Cryptogovernance Workshop’s 20-question “short version” questionnaire. (I had a hand in creating the “long version.”) Both questionnaires are useful for providing a common set of questions, the answers to which should provide a reasonably thorough overview of the governance of a specific blockchain system.

My goal here, working in parallel with others from the Wharton Cryptogovernance Workshop (WCW), is to provide several overviews of functioning systems, public and private…


This article provides an overview of the current design of blockchain governance for the EOS Mainnet from the perspective of one of the early participants.

The questions are drawn from the Wharton Cryptogovernance Workshop’s 37-question “long version” questionnaire. (I had a hand in creating it.) Both the long and short versions of the questionnaire provide a common set of questions, the answers to which should provide a reasonably thorough overview of the governance of a specific blockchain system.

My goal here, working in parallel with others from the Wharton Cryptogovernance Workshop (WCW), is to provide several overviews of functioning systems…


This post is my first after completing my agreed six months of service as interim Executive Director (ED) of the EOS Alliance. The Board has just announced an exciting new direction for the next six months and beyond — a direction I support enthusiastically.

The Alliance became my baby at its inception on 23-Jul-2018. My job was to bring it into existence and help it find a role in the EOS ecosystem.

On 23-Jan-2019 I told the Board I had completed my six months and would be stepping down effective 20-Feb, leaving behind an organization that now has:

  1. A legal…


We at the EOS Alliance are delighted to get poked, prodded and challenged because we are, to use Nassim Taleb’s term, “antifragile”. As a community, technology, and a platform EOS gets stronger from such stimulation. And we have just been stimulated by a provocative paper released by Whiteblock last week.

A humble suggestion

Whiteblock collected an impressive list of Ethereum resources to help with the paper. But they only recruited Ethereum folks for the project. That now looks like a mistake.

The researchers not only didn’t collaborate with anyone who is deeply intimate with the EOS code base, they also didn’t vet their…

Thomas B. Cox

President of Becoming a Best Boss Training & Coaching

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