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The section provides the guidelines to develop objective criteria for eligibility of members to join a consortial blockchain network.


Clearly defined criteria for eligibility of members will increase security, as well as transparency within the community and parties that can participate in the blockchain network. Moreover, they can increase trust within the network, especially in the beginning, when a decentralized network is more prone to security risks since a malicious member can have a potentially higher impact.


To ensure eligibility for the consortium, the following criteria must be met and guidelines established:

  • List of eligible organisational forms that can join the consortium.
  • The jurisdiction to which the member must conform.
  • General requirement for organisations/companies to join the consortium. In addition, of course, special cases to allow membership without meeting these requirements.
  • Special requirements for suspended or excluded members who wish to be reinstated.

Internal references and dependencies

Lists of internal references and dependencies

References to best practice, examples


Sovrin regulates member requirements in its Sovrin Business Policy V2 Policy as follows:

Who can become a member? * A Steward MUST be either: * A governmental Organization in a recognized Jurisdiction, or * An Organization registered to conduct business in at least one Jurisdiction.

Which Jurisdiction does the member have to be compliant with? * A Steward MUST comply with the laws and regulations of the Jurisdiction(s) of which the Steward is part or in which the Steward is legally licensed to operate or registered to conduct business.

What are the requirements for organizations/companies to join?

  • A Steward MUST belong to one of the following categories:
  • A governmental body or agency, or an entity predominantly owned and controlledby the state, in a Jurisdiction as defined in the Sovrin Glossary.
  • One of the following types of governmentally regulated institutions with at least five (5) years operating history:
    • Financial institution
    • Healthcare provider
    • Insurance company
  • A law firm, accounting firm, or other legally-regulated institution with at least five(5) years operating history.
  • A non-governmental organization (NGO) or Social Purpose Organization with atleast five (5) years operating history.
  • An accredited university or other institution of higher education with at least five(5) years operating history.
  • A certificate authority (CA) with at least five (5) years operating history.

Sovrin suggests additional requirements if the member doesn't meet the set requirements in its Sovrin Business Policy V2 Policy as follows:

Can someone join who doesn't meet the requirements?

  • An Organization that does not qualify under one of the above categories butmeets all of the following conditions:
    • Submits an application with written evidence satisfactory to the Sovrin Foundation that it meets all the other requirements in this section and is fully capable of complying with all the requirements of Sovrin GovernanceFramework.
    • Includes in its application a written statement explaining why it supportsthe mission of the Sovrin Foundation and why it should be selected by the Sovrin Board of Trustees as a Steward.
    • Agrees, contingent on its approval as a Steward, to publish and maintainthat written statement as a public document linkable on the Web.
    • Receives approval to be a Steward from the Sovrin Board of Trustees.


Bloxberg defines Institution requirements in its Bloxberg Whitepaper v1.1 as follows:

An Institution can apply as a bloxberg consortium member, if it is a ‘Science organization, specifically academic, higher education and primarily publically funded research institutions.

Bloxberg regulates reapplication requirements in its Bloxberg Whitepaper v1.1 as follows:

The excluded organization can reapply for a bloxberg consortium membership

Sovrin regulates additional and special requirements in its Sovrin Business Policy V2 Policy as follows:

What may be further requirements?

  • A Steward MUST attest and provide supporting evidence to the Sovrin Foundation in the application or requalification process that the Steward is:
  • Financially solvent.
  • Not undergoing any criminal proceedings.

Special Requirements for members if they are suspended

  • A Steward who is suspended MUST not have an active Node on any Sovrin Ledger network until such time as Steward is able to provide reasonable assurance to the responsible Sovrin Governing Body that:
  • a.The Steward is back in compliance with all requirements of the SovrinGovernance Framework, and
  • b.The Steward has the ability to maintain compliance for the foreseeable future.

  • At the request of a suspended Steward, the responsible Sovrin Governing Body MUST examine the Steward’s remediation efforts and make one of the following decisions:

  • a.Reactivate the Steward.
  • b.Request further remediation by the Steward.
  • c.Terminate the Steward

Special Requirements for members if they are terminated

An Organization who has been previously terminated as a Steward and who applies to be reinstated MUST disclose the previous termination in their application and explain theremediation steps that the Steward has taken to requalify.

Bibliography of selected references

Sovrin Business Policy V2 Policy Bloxberg Whitepaper v1.1

RFC-0411 Contributing authors: Tina Marquardt, Chinmay Khandekar, David Maas
Status of this document: work in progress
Last day modified: 2021-05-11