Hyperledger, a global collaboration of leaders from finance, banking, the Internet of Things, and many other sectors, has seen more than 15 members reduce financial support or leave the group entirely over the last couple of months.
Changing Focus Points
The blockchain consortium Hyperledger, which generated a lot of buzz a while back due to the level of expertise each member held may be in a bit of trouble.
While the number of qualified members was considerable, the caliber of the financial heavyweights was also high. Hyperledger’s roster boasted members from American Express, IBM, Intel, and J.P. Morgan. Unfortunately, the community may be losing steam due to a lack of reason to stay on board, or members growing more tentative about certain associations.
For example, JP Morgan Chase left R3, another blockchain consortium which is also a member of Hyperledger. Shortly thereafter, Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander and a handful of others followed in the footsteps of Jamie Dimon’s firm.
For the members that did not leave, they reduced financial support by downgrading from premier memberships to general memberships, which is what members CME Group and Deutsche Boerse have done. These reductions are effective starting at the end of January 2018.
A premier membership earned members a seat on the board and cost $250,000 annually. In comparison, general memberships are $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the size of the company.
Measuring Membership and Participation
While it seems that Hyperledger is weakening, executive director Brian Behlendorf says otherwise. Behlendorf even indicated that the consortium has experienced “tremendous growth in membership” this year:
“We have seen some members who were part of the initial December 2015 cohort shift their spending priorities but remain, members of the organization. We have seen others who never really engaged decide not to renew. This is normal and expected.”
With bitcoin reaching new heights and blockchain technology entering the mainstream for good reason, perhaps Behlendorf may not need to worry. Insofar as the technology can cut measurable costs in a company’s operations, more companies may join other groups or form their own, such as Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and R3.
So far, few full-scale applications of blockchain technology have been released, but its implications in finance, healthcare, and the supply chain still have companies pouring millions into research and development to get a leg up on the competition.