Somish Blockchain Labs: Building open permissionless protocols for decentralized governance
Somish Blockchain Labs is building GovBlocks, a blockchain based voting protocol built for Web3 businesses. Think of it as an ERP solution for new-age businesses that are built with a community-first approach - where decisions are taken by a community, and not just the board members.
GovBlocks was born in the London Blockchain Week Hackathon in 2017. The problem statement of the hackathon was around building solutions for financial inclusion in developing nations. The idea with GovBlocks was to solve for bringing inclusiveness in governance before bringing inclusiveness in finance. We ended up winning the hackathon and there was no looking back since then.
We kept building the solution for almost 2 years before launching the 1st deployment with Nexus Mutual, an insurtech community built on the Ethereum blockchain. Our success with the on-chain governance model of Nexus Mutual has continued to inspire us to build a more robust solution that can be deployed across global communities like Nexus.. Nexus Mutual’s assets under management worth $1 billion are being governed with the help of on-chain voting on the GovBlocks protocol.
We firmly believe that the solution to the world’s biggest problems is in reduction of authority at all levels. The world will be a better place with the formation of decentralized global communities where transparent decision making is facilitated using cutting edge technology that is available at our disposal today.
GovBlocks aims to be that technology enabler for global decentralized communities to make better decisions.
GovBlocks is a solution to replace boardroom-led decision making into community-led decision making - which forms the backbone of decentralized business models mushrooming in the cryptoverse. Decentralization, or decentralizing governance, is restructuring or reorganization of authority so that there is a system of co-responsibility between institutions of governance at different levels. Decentralization allows users to participate in a trustless system while also increasing people's opportunities for participation in economic, social and political decisions. Moreover, decentralization enhances responsiveness, transparency and accountability by almost eliminating the risk of systemic failure. GovBlocks allows businesses to pragmatically decentralize themselves.
Blockchain technology has for the first time in human history, made decentralization socially scalable. The most fascinating aspect of blockchain is the idea of using technology to return back into an era of community-driven living rather than institutionalized living. On a smart contract driven blockchain network, two transacting entities no longer need to trust an intermediary, but just the smart contract that binds them together. This technology driven disintermediation is what makes blockchain promising for use-cases like voting that GovBlocks is innovating in.
GovBlocks is built on the unique principles of multifactorial consensus that enables 1) a modular, configurable decision making approach to suit the ever-changing needs of a community and 2) ability to deploy a curation network that provides decentralized crowdsourced intelligence at scale for managing resources in a community. The pragmatism followed during the design phase of GovBlocks makes it a unique solution. It provides an enhanced and dynamic governance layer, capable of managing a large, varied and constantly growing range of factors of decentralized networks.
ON BEING OPEN SOURCE
Open source is a culture and this culture reflects the ethos of community-driven technology building. GovBlocks has been open source since inception and has benefited from global contributions.
If it’s not open source, there’s an inherent limitation of scale as incentives are not aligned with the community.
TEAM & DIVERSITY
We are a dedicated team of blockchain enthusiasts who are not only the founding members of Govblocks but also running a successful blockchain venture studio, Somish Blockchain Labs. Our first mover advantage, enormous human capital in terms of knowledge of the ecosystem and a diverse workforce helps us stand out.
We are a tribe of engineering maniacs building blockchain solutions for enterprises, crypto startups and also governments across the globe bound together with a common vision. Adapting to the current world situation our team is based across the length and breadth of India, amounting to 18 different cities.
Diversity is a desired attribute for any startup, and more so for an up-and-coming technology like Blockchain. A rich diversity not only brings in a vibrant representation across the board room but also a comprehensive set of perspectives to help in problem solving as well as building innovative solutions. With a woman leading the charge of the tech side of things, we are proud to be breaking the glass ceiling in this space.
We’re humbled with the confidence placed by UNICEF Innovation Fund in our business. It is a big commendation of the work that we’ve done over the years. We plan to use the UNICEF Innovation Fund investment to improve the existing technology and start educating communities about how GovBlocks can benefit them. We also plan to raise follow-on investment from the global venture capital and community crowdsourcing ecosystems. We are confident that along with the UNICEF, we are well positioned to create a meaningful impact with GovBlocks.
It is an absolute delight to be solving complex problems with like minded people and there couldn’t have been a better opportunity than the UNICEF platform to connect with such a community of people. We feel the biggest challenge that we’d love to work on is the shift of mindset towards building the perfect “Ownership Economy” as famously coined by Jesse Walden of the Variant Fund. We feel ownership-driven economies are the business models of future generations. If you are interested in learning more about ownership economies, this is an article to read - https://variant.fund/the-ownership-economy-crypto-and-consumer-software/