As 2022 comes to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the incredible milestones that GBA members have accomplished this year and to thank everyone who contributed to these efforts.
1 GBA Website
Those that have been around for a while may remember the long and arduous journey our website has gone through to get where it is today. In the past the website was slow, it frequently froze and crashed. It was an albatross to continued growth. But, thanks to the heroic efforts of Jordan Dache, and Tara Sue Myers, today we have migrated to a brand-new platform, providing robust capabilities and performance, achieving significantly higher levels of growth for the organization.
1.1 New Communications Features
In addition to enhanced performance and a modernized look and feel, the new website has new communications capabilities like Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. We have seen engagement go through the roof as GBA members improve their interactions with each other.
1.2 Email Migration
We have moved the GBA email to a new platform, giving GBA more autonomous control over emails. We still have some work to do in this area to improve the resilience of our systems.
We are about to launch the GBA Marketplace. This is an Amazon style online store that will allow GBA organizational members to list their products and services on the GBA site for sale. This creates revenue opportunity for both the GBA and members. The GBA will drive traffic to the marketplace and the public will be able to purchase products and services directly from GBA organizational members.
2 Blockchain Maturity Model (BMM)
Governments and enterprises around the world are preparing to acquire blockchain solutions. The problem is that they do not have the knowledge or framework to know a trustworthy solution from overhyped vaporware. For that reason, the Blockchain Maturity Model (BMM) was created.
2.1 Model Requirements
After years in development, the BMM was published March 2022. The model has been showcased and received rave reviews from international, national, state, and local government officials around the world. It has also been heralded by blockchain experts and consultants as a desperately needed tool in the industry. The BMM provides a framework for blockchain solution buyers and sellers to assess the reliability and dependability of solutions. When so many blockchain solutions have failed to meet expectations, the BMM helps align claims with actual performance and capabilities.
2.2 BMM Supplements
While the BMM Requirements defines the requirements for all solutions, not every industry shares the same requirements. For example, identity management in a financial system requires strict identity requirements to ensure that the customer is specifically known. However, a voting system demands anonymity of the voter and permanent separability between the voter and their vote. For that reason, the BMM Supplements are being created to address domain and use case specific requirements. The first one completed is the Banking & Financial Services Supplement. Other supplements will be published throughout 2023.
2.3 Assessment Methodology
In addition to the model requirements, the GBA Standards & Certification Working Group created the BMM Assessment Requirements. The assessment protocol includes a five-phase process to ensure that BMM assessments are conducted uniformly with the optimal blend of objectivity and insight. This ensures that both buyers and sellers of blockchain solutions derive the maximum value from BMM assessments.
2.4 GBA Certified BMM Experts
The GBA has trained and credentialed the first set of qualified BMM experts from around the world. These experts have the skills, knowledge, and disposition to help organizations mature their solutions in accordance with the BMM. You can find out more about them on the BMM Advisors page.
3 Government Blockchain Training Academy
The GBA launched the online Government Blockchain Training Academy. This portal is a learning management portal integrated into the GBA website. It will allow GBA members to develop online training and publish it on the GBA website. Revenues generated by the online courses are shared back to the course authors.
3.1 Blockchain Foundations
The first course published in the training portal is Blockchain Foundations. This 14-module course covers blockchain and cryptocurrency. It includes quizzes, a final exam, and results in a certification that can be posted online. It also syncs with the GBA online profile. This course is free for all GBA members. And, since GBA membership is free for all civil servants, this course could become a universally accepted course for government employees. Our goal is for every civil servant that is interested in blockchain to take this course.
3.2 Other Courses in Development
Other courses in development include:
- BMM Course
- BMM Assessment Team Course
- BMM Lead Assessor Course
- Digital Asset Management Course
- Blockchain for Lawyers & Legal Professionals
- Blockchain for Law Enforcement / Forensic Tracking
And many other working groups will be working on courses in the coming year. Our goal is to provide online university experience within the next 1-2 years.
4 Maven Federal Credit Union (MFCU)
Maven Federal Credit Union partnered with GBA in 2022 to become the very first blockchain-based Credit Union in the United States, possibly the world. Now in pre-charter phase, all members of GBA can join Maven and be a part of Credit Union history as this groundbreaking charter gets off the ground. Become a MFCU Member today!
GBA has systematized the production of live/ hybrid conferences during 2022. We learned much while producing three world-class events at the National Press Club and the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. The three events were:
The Future of Money, Governance, and the Law, January 2022
Blockchain & Sustainable Economic Growth, May 2022
Blockchain & Infrastructure, September 2022
At the January event, The Future of Money, Governance, and the Law, we reinstituted the Annual Achievement Awards, with the President Najib Bukele winning the Courage Award for the year. At the May event, Blockchain & Sustainable Economic Growth, GBA hosted their very first Art Show with NFTs, demonstrating a mobile voting app from DeVote. At the September event, Blockchain & Infrastructure, speakers Brian Cavanaugh, Carole House, and Brock Pierce brought the GBA speakers’ line up to a whole new level.
The caliber of GBA speakers has improved so much since the early GBA meetups in local bars. This past year some of our speakers have included:
-El Salvador Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Milena Mayorga
-Former National Security Council Member for Presidents Trump & Biden, Brian Cavanaugh
-Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation & one of the top 20 wealthiest people in cryptocurrency, Brock Pierce
-Author of the Biden Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, Carole House
-United Nations Digital Transformation Working Group Leader, Dino Cataldo Dell’Accio
-Vice Chair, US National Credit Union Administration, Kyle Hauptman
Plan on attending, speaking at, or sponsoring our next conference, the Future of Money, Governance, and the Law on May 23-24.
6 News & Information
6.1 Online Content
The GBA website has over 1,500 posts and events about blockchain. The site is becoming known as one of the best sources in the world for credible information about blockchain and the public sector. GBA members can post information and events on the website.
6.2 YouTube Channel
The GBA YouTube Channel now has over 1,500 subscribers and hosts over 270 videos. This channel has become a resource for people around the world who are exploring and learning about blockchain. It has also become a powerful promotional tool for GBA members that want to showcase their accomplishments to the public.
6.3 Use Case Landing Pages
The voting working group has built a landing page for voting & election policy makers, administrators, and solution providers. The Voting Resource Page contains information about applications, experts, publications, and videos. We are working with other working groups to create similar resource pages for other industries and domains.
7 Global Operations
7.1 Middle East & North Africa
The GBA is piloting a new way to engage with members regionally in ways that support the business goals of GBA members. We are piloting a relationship with iBLOCKCHAIN, as a regional partner in the Middle East & North Africa. Once we establish the process, we are planning to duplicate this model in other parts of the world where language, culture, and laws dictate a regional business relationship. This work is ongoing, and we look forward to seeing where this journey takes us.
7.2 Latin America
Alejandro Mandujano is working with our Spanish speaking members and chapter leaders to translate the website, BMM, website, and other critical resources into Spanish to support the global Spanish speaking community. We hope to use this as a model that we can duplicate for other language groups.
In 2022 we have transitioned the GBA from a loose affiliation of volunteers led by one family to a formal, structured organization with a professional governance model. The single greatest achievement of our management team resulted from the addition of Sean Kurzweil, the GBA CFO. Sean has worked diligently to bring a strong financial and legal discipline to the GBA to ensure that our future years are strong.
9 2022 Summary
There is literally so much more that we could capture here. The accomplishments roll in faster than we can get the good news out. But, at this point we can say this: We invested a significant number of resources in building the infrastructure in 2022, causing our financial position to slide backwards. But the revenue opportunities for both members, and the organization, have taken a giant leap forward. If 2022 was the year of building infrastructure, 2023 will be the year of monetization.
10 Roadmap 2023 – Looking Ahead
In 2023 we plan to continue to build out the:
- Government Blockchain Training Academy
- BMM Assessment Framework & Service
We also plan on rolling out a philanthropic and commercial component of the Government Blockchain Community and launching several new projects. They include:
- Use of blockchain smart contracts and digital assets in government acquisition
- Use of blockchain in charitable contributions and public accountability
11 Special Thanks
This last year was an amazing year of accomplishments. And I would be remised for not thanking all the people that made this past year as successful as it was. But there is no way I could thank everyone that contributed to GBA financially, and with their time, heart, and brains. So, let me break it down by categories:
- GBA Board – Thank you for putting up with me and for not running away when it looked like we were running into a head on collision with the facts.
- GBA Staff & Management Team – You have worked for a long time with little or no pay. Your hard work and dedication to this community truly humbles me and is a testimony to the character of this community.
- Working Group & Chapter Leaders – Your leadership in collaborating with our peers for the development of products & services resulting in common goods for the industry cannot be overvalued. The entire industry owes you a debt of gratitude.
- GBA members – Your participation in the various groups, projects, and your financial support makes all of this possible. We are a community because of your involvement. You are at the very heart of what makes GBA great. Thank you!
Until next month,
Government Blockchain Association