Unruly Innovation: Distributed Ledgers, Blockchains and the Protection of Transactional Rents

39 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2016

See all articles by Karen Elliott

Karen Elliott

University of Newcastle - Business School

Fabio Massacci

DISI - University of Trento

Chan-Nam Ngo

University of Trento

Julian M. Williams

Durham Business School

Date Written: December 22, 2016

Abstract

We present a new conceptual model of disruptive innovation and apply it to distributed ledger technology. Our analysis illustrates the new features of this technology and why there is an argument that, in several respects, the combination of distributed ledger technology and cryptographically enabled contracts changes the economic framework within which individuals, firms and policy makers reside. This foundational level of disruption appears to have several new features, more notably a fundamental change in the game played by economic actors: the ability to self-deregulate. The paper provides a simple, but precise description of a series of complex interactions and illustrates the main points using a recent case study from the Distributed Autonomous Organizations of the Ethereum project.

Keywords: Disruptive Innovation, Combinatorial Innovation, Smart Contracts and crypto currencies, Theory of the firm

JEL Classification: E42, G23, L5, L86

Suggested Citation

Elliott, Karen and Massacci, Fabio and Ngo, Chan-Nam and Williams, Julian M., Unruly Innovation: Distributed Ledgers, Blockchains and the Protection of Transactional Rents (December 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2888872 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2888872

Karen Elliott

University of Newcastle - Business School ( email )

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

Fabio Massacci (Contact Author)

DISI - University of Trento ( email )

Via Sommarive 9
Trento, Trento 38123
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.massacci.org

Chan-Nam Ngo

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

Julian M. Williams

Durham Business School ( email )

Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3LB
United Kingdom

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