A decentralized fair governance model for permissionless blockchain systems

Shiva Jairam, Jaap Gordijn, Isaac Da Silva Torres, Fadime Kaya, Marc Makkes

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Blockchain systems are a new way to reduce or even eliminate the role of the middlemen in an eco-system. For example, the Bitcoin, as one of the most well-known blockchain platforms, shows that it is possible to transfer money without the need of any (intermediate) bank at all. More generally, it allows for the decentralization of roles. In this paper, we focus on permissionless blockchains, which are systems that allow participation without upfront approval on other parties, as opposed to permissioned blockchains. Permissionless blockchain systems support direct business transactions between peers, so without any intermediate and centralized entity very well. However, the organization of the governance of such systems is less obvious. We argue that, in order to arrive at a really decentralized eco-system where power is fairly distributed, the governance should be decentralized; in other words, it should not be in the hand of one controlling entity. In this paper, we analyse, in a model-based way, for three well-known blockchain systems (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos) the governance processes. Based on this analysis, we draft an improved governance process for permissionless blockchains.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVMBO 2021 Value Modelling
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Workshop on Value Modelling and Business Ontologies Bolzano, Italy, March 4th and 5th, 2021
EditorsGiancarlo Guizzardi, Tiago Prince Sales, Cristine Griffo, Mattia Fumagalli
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event15th International Workshop on Value Modelling and Business Ontologies, VMBO 2021 - Virtual, Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 4 Mar 20215 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameCEUR Workshop Proceedings
PublisherCEUR Workshop Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1613-0073


Conference15th International Workshop on Value Modelling and Business Ontologies, VMBO 2021
CityVirtual, Bolzano

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 for this paper by its authors.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bitcoin BIP
  • Decentralized governance
  • Ethereum EIP
  • Fair governance characteristics
  • Permissionless-based blockchain
  • Tezos Amendment


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