The London School of Economics (LSE) is the second UK university to join the governing council of the Hedera Hashgraph, following UCL. The university is interested in Hedera for sustainable and social impact projects.
As a public decentralized ledger, anyone can build applications on Hedera Hashgraph. However, only governing council members operate nodes that update the ledger, which is technically not a blockchain. That contrasts with most public permissionless blockchains where miners make updates or validator nodes in Proof of Stake networks.
The LSE aims to use its position on the council for research, commercial outreach, and hackathons.
“We aim to significantly extend our research footprint in understanding how DLT and blockchains can play a positive impact on society in pioneering digital sustainable projects,” said Dr. Carsten Sorensen, Associate Professor (Reader) in digital innovation, Department of Management.
“Impacts of covid-19 and climate change are demanding new intellectual models of how we work, live and play together in a metaphysical world,” said Thamim Ahmed, Senior Research Associate, LSE Consulting. “The underlying features of a blockchain act as a coordination technology, which can create efficient marketplaces, from typically illiquid environments that are not naturally connected or trustworthy.”
He continued, “Thus, blockchains will give rise to emerging business models and opportunities, as shared ledgers will change organizational and institutional structures of an economy.”
Hedera has been keen to position itself as a potential platform for central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and mentioned that LSE members had collaborated with “central banks, regulators and industry practitioners.” The DLT network has several financial governing council members, including eftpos, the major Australian payments network, South Africa’s Standard Bank, which has previously participated in CBDC trials, and Shinhan Bank, which hopes to take part in Korea’s CBDC development.
However, after joining Hedera, the Korean bank later signed up to the governing council of another big public permissioned blockchain, Korea’s Klaytn. That was a smart move, as the founder of Klaytn, Ground X, won the first Korean CBDC simulation contract.