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Disrupting Governance: The New Institutional Economics of Distributed Ledger Technology

27 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2016  

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Primavera De Filippi

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Date Written: July 19, 2016

Abstract

Distributed ledger technology, invented for cryptocurrencies, is increasingly understood as a new general-purpose technology for a broad range of economic activities that rely on consensus of a database of transactions or records. However, blockchains are more than just a disruptive new ICT. Rather, they are a new institutional technology of governance that competes with other economic institutions of capitalism, namely firms, markets, networks, and even governments. We present this view of blockchains through a case study of Backfeed, an Ethereum-based platform for creating new types of commons-based collaborative economies.

Keywords: blockchain, distributed ledger technology, innovation, cryptoeconomics, institutional economics, governance, technological revolution

JEL Classification: D02, D23, D24, L17, O35, P40, P50

Suggested Citation

Davidson, Sinclair and De Filippi, Primavera and Potts, Jason, Disrupting Governance: The New Institutional Economics of Distributed Ledger Technology (July 19, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811995

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing ( email )

445 Swanston Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia
+61-3-9925-5869 (Phone)
+61-3-9925-5986 (Fax)

Primavera De Filippi

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas ( email )

12 place du Pantheon
Paris cedex 06, 75231
France

Jason Potts (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

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