This blog post is part of a series called Governance of Consortium Blockchains. The series will explore the policies that should be created once a governance body takes form. Read below for the second of this five-part series.
Membership policies provide a framework for the Consortium. The policies are created and affirmed by the organizations involved. They do not need to be complex or cover every possible situation. Here are some suggested categories.
Preamble or Purpose Statement
The preamble should be a simple statement about the consortium's goals. It may also include the rationale behind creating the consortium.
The Orange Juice Consortium will streamline the delivery of orange juice to the customer. This guarantees the customer gets exactly the type of orange juice when they want it.
Categories of Membership
The types of members will vary depending on the consortium, ranging from one type to many. Each category should have a description and a role.
- Growers – These members grow and harvest the oranges. They provide the raw product to the juicers.
- Juicers – These members squish the oranges and package the juice. They provide the finished product.
- Shippers – These members ship the product. They can ship directly to the customer or to a third-party seller.
- Third-Party Sellers – These members purchase the finished product for resale. They provide a place for the customer to purchase the product.
- Customers – These are members who purchase the finished product for their own use.
If there are membership fees, the amount and frequency is listed here. If the fees vary by category that should also be listed. Payment instructions or any special discounts could be here.
- Growers - $100 per year.
- Juicers - $100 per year.
- Shippers - $100 per year.
- Third Party Sellers - $100 per year.
- Customers – Free.
Membership can be open to all or can be tightly controlled. The eligibility criteria can be by category of member or a more general criterion. There may be various levels of membership that can be used to further categorize members.
- Growers – a grower must produce at least 100 crates annually.
- Juicers – a juicer must produce 1,000 gallons annually.
- Shippers – a shipper must deliver 1,000 crates or 10,000 gallons annually.
Responsibilities of Members
The responsibilities of membership support the consortium’s purpose. They can be technical, legal, or general in nature. These should be clearly defined and as simple as possible.
- Growers must report any defects or recalls to the consortium within 12 hours.
- Shippers must report any delays or losses within one hour.
- Juicers must report any recalls within 12 hours.
- Any member running a node must have at least 98% uptime.
- Any member running a node must keep response time below 1 second.
Benefits for the members are the reason to join the consortium. Collectively, the members agree to provide them. Some may be tangible, such as discounts. Others may be less tangible, like delivery guarantees or quality guarantees. Since blockchains are auditable, there is transparency between members.
- Product recalls or defects are reported within 12 hours to members of the consortium.
- Members receive a 5% discount on shipping.
- Transit times are guaranteed within 1 hour.
Procedures created to implement the policies can be a section of the policy document or can be a separate document altogether. Use a different document if the procedures are complex or prone to change. Listed below are a few examples.
- Adding New Members
- Revoking Membership
- Discontinuing Membership
- Contacting Members
Check out the rest of the series:
Governance of Consortium Blockchain Series Part One
About the Author: Rob Miroballi is a Senior Technical Architect at NVISIA, who has over 20 years of industry experience. You can find him @RobertMiroballi on twitter, LinkedIn and the Hyperledger Fabric Mailing List.