The Muskoka Group - Findings Report

Report of the 2-day Muskoka Blockchain Governance Workshop, held at the Tapscott Lodge on Lake of Bays, Muskoka, Canada

August 24-26, 2016



From August 24-26th, 2016, a group of Blockchain practitioners, advocates, theorists and policy experts met at the family compound of Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution, to discuss how the Blockchain ecosystem can most effectively move forward to ensure that this technology fulfills its potential.  The group achieved consensus on a number of topics, recommendations and specific actions.  Below is our statement and 10 consensus conclusions.

The Blockchain Revolution

Together, we believe that the Internet is entering a second era and the digital revolution is bringing a new and radically different platform that can take the broader global community through the next quarter century of human progress.  The biggest innovation in computer science in a generation is the technology underlying the digital currency Bitcoin – the Blockchain.  The Blockchain has the potential to make people’s lives better, to improve their access to opportunity and economic prosperity.  It can unleash countless new networks and applications, and has yet unrealized capabilities that have the potential to transform -- almost everything.

The Blockchain Ecosystem

There is much to be done to build the collaborations, organizations and networks required for proper stewardship of this resource.  We believe that “decentralization does not equal disorganization,” as one participant said.  “Like-minded people and groups can self-organize to voice their valuable perspectives, collaborate and solve problems in a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder fashion. Especially as the Internet provides new means and mechanisms to do so.”

Recommendations and Actions

Of the many consensus conclusions here are ten:

1.     The time for global action is now:  One participant noted, “societies are facing a deficit of trust and deficit of opportunity.”  We believe people, institutions and industries throughout the world need the Blockchain technology and we must do all we can to make it available in every way possible.

2.     Global communication is critical.  We believe the broad Blockchain ecosystem must come together to expand and advance the way we explain the power and potential of the Blockchain. 

3.     Launch a campaign to help overcome misconceptions:  We will collaborate to create a collective and highly sophisticated communications program, or campaign, to help explain the Blockchain and work to clarify many of the misconceptions.  As part of this we will take steps to support the Blockchain Trust Accelerator - an organization created and sponsored by New America, The National Democratic Institute and the Bitfury Group.

4.     Launch the Blockchain Hub:  Don and Alex Tapscott will explore funding launching a GSN “Blockchain Hub.”  (See Appendix below about the GSN -- Global Solutions Network Program).  First is to conduct a research project to inventory, categorize and analyze the current blockchain ecosystem --- organizations, networks and individuals.  Identify key gaps and outline strategies for moving forward. Second, as with other GSN Hubs, create a set of tools for ecosystem players to understand the challenge of governance and help them self-organize to move forward. Third, to create a comprehensive “network of networks” to help coalesce the community. 

5.     Take advantage of the Linux Foundation:  Use The Linux Foundation, specifically the Hyperledger project, which is a good home for blockchain software development projects and best practices, where collaboration makes sense. It provides benefits like its seal of approval, good resources and a good context for effective open source work. The Linux Foundation is also committed to take additional steps to encourage the development of advanced programming talent in the blockchain space.  Among other things blockchain courses and projects need to be made available in university computer science programs globally.

6.     Develop a roadmap and action plan for future government leaders: We will collaborate with others to create a comprehensive Blockchain strategy for government leaders at the municipal, state, federal and supranational level. One participant said “we need actionable efforts that are ‘shovel ready’ for implementation once there is a new administration.“

7.     Create a strategy for better Blockchain ecosystem health by refreshing and updating the original Alex Tapscott-authored white paper on Governing Digital Currencies.”

8.     Actively support the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the leading blockchain trade association and multi-stakeholder network, in their efforts in the United States, Canada and globally. The Chamber has founded and launched a series of key industry initiatives including the Blockchain Alliance, the official public-private forum between industry and law enforcement; the Smart Contracts Alliance, which promotes real world applications for smart contracts technologies; and the Global Blockchain Forum, an international initiative developing best practices to help shape global regulatory interoperability, among others.

9.     Explore launching a syndicated research program into Blockchain use cases.  There is a need for deep research into how blockchain can transform industry, government and society.  The book Blockchain Revolution was a great start, and launch pad for ideation, however there is much more to further define and explore. The world needs horizontal research investigating areas such as supply chains, asset tracking, marketing and management.  We need vertical research into industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and government.

10.  Continue this collaboration.  We are committed to continuing our collaboration through the Muskoka Group and expanding it to include any leaders interested in a healthy Blockchain ecosystem. We will develop a mission statement for this group, centering on creating knowledge and engendering collaborations in aid of building a healthier and more robust blockchain ecosystem. 

Signed By:

• Brian Behlendorf, Founder, The Hyperledger Project

• Perianne Boring, Founder and President, The Chamber of Digital Commerce

• Michael Dillhyon, CEO, YouBase Inc.

• Joseph Lubin, Founder, Consensus Systems

• Matthew Roszak, Co-Founder and CEO, Bloq

• Jamie Smith, Chief Global Communications Officer, The BitFury Group

• Matthew Spoke, CEO, Nuco

• Christa Steele, CEO, Boardroom Consulting

• Don Tapscott, CEO, The Tapscott Group

• Alex Tapscott, CEO, Northwest Passage Ventures

• Tomicah Tilleman, Senior Partner, Founder of Bretton Woods II, New America Foundation

• Joseph Weinberg, CEO, Paycase

• Pindar Wong, Chairman, VeriFi

• Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, the Linux Foundation

Background: The Global Solution Networks Framework

The GSN program is a $4 million dollar effort, including 40 projects that is exploring new models of governance and problem solving that are impacting global challenges and problems that transcend national boundaries.  As part of this work it is investigating multi-stakeholder models of governance of global resources ranging from the Kimberly process for diamonds to the Internet itself. The GSN team of global experts and network leaders has developed a taxonomy of 10 essential network types and studied the technologies, stakeholders and governance of hundreds of these networks, as well as the orchestrators that are driving them.  

Ten Types of Global Solution Networks

Overall 40 projects were conducted. In order to help scale and optimize the impact of these critical efforts, GSN launched a series of platforms or Hubs, with resources and tools based the research. Successful networks require clear intention, and strategies for engagement, data mining, legitimacy, accountability and internal governance.The new GSN Hubs deliver access to networks of successful leaders and to the network-building tools to support change agents at all stages of implementation. The individual platforms support networks for climate & planet stewardship, health & human well-being and employment & prosperity and cities.

The Muskoka Group has recommended that a Blockchain Hub be launched to provide essential know how to those who care about a healthy blockchain ecosystem and also to link the various organizations and networks involved together.

For more information on the Muskoka Blockchain Governance Workshop, please contact Jenna Pilgrim ( or use the website form at