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Swisscom leaves Hedera Hashgraph, Avery Dennison joins

avery dennison

Avery Dennison, the labeling company, has joined the Hedera Hashgraph governing council. At the same time, it was revealed that another council member Swisscom Blockchain is withdrawing.

Swisscom’s parting words were very upbeat about Hedera, but their departure reasons were not revealed. However, it was disclosed that three full-time engineers were allocated to the project to specify and implement decentralized identity standards. “I’m incredibly proud of the work that the Swisscom Blockchain team has conducted with Hedera Hashgraph,” said Kamal Youssefi, who is also leaving Swisscom.

Hedera is the public distributed ledger that has targeted corporates from the start with its governance council made up of large enterprises. Having witnessed so-called “forks” of both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, the Hedera founders believed that enterprises would not join a public edger where the governance was in the hands of users or developers.

Hedera’s existing 15 governing members are dominated by technology and telecoms firms such as IBM, Google, Deutsche Telekom and Tata Communications. If you count aerospace firm Boeing as an industrial, then Avery Dennison is Hedera’s second industrial member.

The labeling company had a $7 billion turnover in 2019 and boasts a market capitalization just shy of $10 billion. 

“At Avery Dennison, we believe in a future where every physical item will have a unique digital identity and digital life,” said an Avery Dennison spokesperson. “We are pleased to be part of the Hedera Governance Council exploring what the future holds for the connectivity between people, products and systems.”

We could only find one mention of the firm in our blockchain archives, as part of an RFID Lab run by Auburn University in conjunction with Nike and the owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

However, on further digging, we found a few other examples. Avery has an intelligent labeling solution using RFID technology. That doesn’t just have to be on paper labels, it can potentially be etched into a surface to prevent counterfeiting.

Blockchain firm Everledger and Avery Dennison partnered to use NFC powered inlays on wine labels for the ‘Appellation Earth’ brand of wines from Napa Valley, California. Every wine bottle was assigned an identity enabling the bottle to be authenticated and tracked. And consumers can find out the details of the bottle’s journey from harvest.

We’ve previously written about EVRYTHNG, the Internet of Things (IoT) smart products company that assigns a digital identity to physical objects using QR codes, NFC, RFIDs, and other solutions. It partnered with Avery Dennison on a blockchain solution for tracking fashion products from Matthew Williams’s 1017 ALYX 9SM label using the IOTA distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform.

More recently, Avery Dennison subsidiary Smartrac announced it partnered with blockchain startup SUKU to authenticate COVID-19 testing kits and personal protective equipment.

Meanwhile, Hedera is targeting 38 governance council members and so far, it has 15. The organization raised around $124 million via tokens prior to the network launch and now has a token market capitalization of $184 million. That’s up from a $25 million valuation at the end of January. The watershed seemed to be Google joining its governing council in February when the big tech firm made clear its interest in hosting Hedera nodes in Google Cloud.