Block-by-Block: Leveraging the Power of Blockchain Technology to Build Trust and Promote Cyber Peace

55 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2016 Last revised: 12 Mar 2017

See all articles by Scott Shackelford

Scott Shackelford

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs; Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research; Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Stanford Law School

Steven Myers

Indiana University; Indiana University Bloomington - Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

Date Written: November 21, 2016

Abstract

There has been increasing interest in the transformative power of not only crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, but also the technology underlying them — namely blockchain. To the uninitiated, a blockchain is a sophisticated, distributed online ledger that has the potential, according to Goldman Sachs, to “change ‘everything.’” From making businesses more efficient to recording property deeds to engendering the growth of ‘smart’ contracts, blockchain technology is now being investigated by a huge range of organizations and is attracting billions in venture funding. Even the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investigating blockchain technology to “create an unhackable messaging system.” However, the legal literature has largely ignored the rise of blockchain technology outside of its finance, securities, and copyright implications. This Article seeks to address this omission by analyzing the potential impact of blockchain technology on advancing the cybersecurity of firms across an array of sectors and industries with a particular focus on certificate authorities and the critical infrastructure context. Moreover, we examine the rise of blockchains through the lens of the literature on polycentric governance to ascertain what lessons this research holds to build trust in distributed systems and ultimately promote cyber peace.

Keywords: blockchain, Bitcoin, cybersecurity, cyber attack, polycentric governance, cyber peace

Suggested Citation

Shackelford, Scott J. and Myers, Steven, Block-by-Block: Leveraging the Power of Blockchain Technology to Build Trust and Promote Cyber Peace (November 21, 2016). Yale Journal of Law and Technology (2017 Forthcoming); Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 16-85. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2874090 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2874090

Scott J. Shackelford (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs ( email )

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research ( email )

Wylie Hall 105
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Stanford Center for Internet and Society ( email )

Palo Alto, CA
United States

Stanford Law School ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Steven Myers

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Indiana University Bloomington - Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research ( email )

Wylie Hall 105
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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