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EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

Who owns blockchain? Who is in charge of blockchain today?

The original blockchain protocol was released as open source code, and so is in the public domain. That means no one owns it. Since then, people have developed many other variants of blockchain technology for different purposes. These can be divided into two types:

  • Public blockchains are, like the original blockchain protocol, open source projects and so not owned by anyone. As the name implies, public blockchains is that they are open to the public, meaning anyone can join and participate in the network. In many cases, governance of these platforms is however managed through a central entity, typically a foundation, and typically with a means for the community to be involved in decision-making about developing the platform.
  • Private blockchains are not open to the public but only to those who are accepted onto the platform. While a single entity can develop and thus “own” a private blockchain, they are typically developed and governed by industry consortia.