The Sovrin Governance Framework is the legal foundation of the Sovrin Network as a global public utility for self-sovereign identity. It is developed by the Sovrin Governance Framework Working Group (SGFWG), currently chaired by Sovrin trustee Drummond Reed. Each new version is approved by the Sovrin Foundation Board of Trustees (BoT) to become the official set of governance documents for the operation of the Sovrin Ledger and the Sovrin Network.

The first version, the Sovrin Provisional Trust Framework, was approved by the Sovrin BoT on 28 June 2017 and has been operational since the launch of the Sovrin Provisional Network on 31 July 2017. The second version, now called the Sovrin Governance Framework V2, has been under development by the SGFWG for the past year.

Composition of the Sovrin Governance Framework V2

The normative documents comprising the Sovrin Governance Framework V2 (SGF V2) are shown below:

The are four primary documents in the SGF V2:

  1. The Sovrin Governance Framework Master Document. The “constitution” of the Sovrin Network, this document defines the purpose, core principles, and core policies, and also references all other documents in the SGF V2, including all the Controlled Documents listed in Appendix A.
  2. The Sovrin Steward Agreement. The legal agreement between the Sovrin Foundation and a Sovrin steward
  3. The Sovrin Glossary. A comprehensive glossary of over 200 terms used throughout all the SGF V2 documents and all of Sovrin infrastructure.
  4. The Sovrin Trust Assurance Framework. This document defines criteria and processes for assessing conformance of different Sovrin actors to the policies of the Sovrin Governance Framework

The are also six Controlled Documents containing specific policies:

  1. Sovrin Governing Body Policies—the governance policies that apply to all of the Sovrin Governing Bodies.
  2. Sovrin Ledger Access Policies—covers reading and writing to the Sovrin Ledger.
  3. Sovrin Steward Business Policies—covers qualification, application, activation, operation, suspension, and termination of Sovrin stewards.
  4. Sovrin Steward Technical Policies—covers the security, node operation, node selection, and reporting requirements for Sovrin stewards.
  5. Sovrin Economic Policies—covers economic incentives, fees, and regulatory compliance.
  6. Sovrin Trust Mark Policies—covers use of the Sovrin Trust Mark by stewards, agencies, and developers.

See Appendix A of the SGF Master Document for a list of additional definitions and specifications used by the SGF.

Lastly, the SGFWG is currently developing a white paper, The Sovrin Web of Trust Modelthat will serve as a comprehensive overview of the Sovrin Governance Framework V2 and the new decentralized trust model enabled by self-sovereign identity infrastructure. This white paper is expected to be published in January 2019—look for a separate announcement from the Sovrin Foundation.

How To Comment During the Public Review Period

The initial public review period was during the month of November 2018. The documents listed above then received preliminary approval from the Sovrin Board of Trustees on 18 December 2018. However at least one more document is being added, and public review will continue until final approval of the SGF V2 by the Sovrin Board of Trustees.

You may click on the link for any of the documents listed above to go to a Google doc where you can add comments or make suggestions. Please be judicious when you post—hundreds of hours have gone into these documents, and all comments or suggestions will be reviewed by SGFWG members, so we appreciate thoughtful and deliberate contributions.

Please note that the Sovrin Foundation is a non-profit public trust organization, so any contributions become part of the Sovrin public trust. We are happy to provide acknowledgement of valuable contributions.

Participate in the Sovrin Governance Framework Working Group

The SGFWG is always open to new participants. There is no membership requirement other than a genuine interest in decentralized governance for a global public utility for self-sovereign identity. Background in technical, legal, or business policy development is a bonus. Please contact us if you would like to contribute to this work.