A First Step in the Co-Evolution of Blockchain and Ontologies: Towards Engineering an Ontology of Governance at the Blockchain Protocol Level

22 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2018

See all articles by Henry M. Kim

Henry M. Kim

York University - Schulich School of Business; Novera; Insolar

Marek Laskowski

York University; University of Guelph

Ning Nan

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business

Date Written: January 6, 2018

Abstract

At the beginning of 2018, there is a growing belief that blockchain technologies constitute a revolutionary innovation in how we transfer value electronically. In that vein, blockchain may be a suitable complement to ontologies to achieve a big part of Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the semantic Web. We believe that if this complementarity is to be achieved blockchain and ontologies must co-evolve. In this paper, we focus on what and how to engineer models, methods, designs, and implementations for this co-evolution. As a first step in this co-evolution, we propose a conceptual design of a governance ontology represented as meta-data tags to be embedded and instantiated in a smart contract at the blockchain protocol level. We develop this design by examining and analyzing smart contracts from the infamous The DAO experiment on the Ethereum blockchain. We believe there are two contributions of this paper: it serves to inform and implore the blockchain and ontology communities to recognize and collaborate with each other; and it outlines a roadmap for engineering artifacts to bridge the gap between blockchain community’s focus on protocol-level blockchain interoperability and the ontology community’s focus on semantic-level interoperability.

Keywords: blockchain, ontologies, smart contracts, blockchain interoperability, governance, Ethereum

Suggested Citation

Kim, Henry M. and Laskowski, Marek and Nan, Ning, A First Step in the Co-Evolution of Blockchain and Ontologies: Towards Engineering an Ontology of Governance at the Blockchain Protocol Level (January 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3097443

Henry M. Kim (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Novera ( email )

661 University Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1M1
Canada

Insolar ( email )

Gartenstrasse 6
Zug, 6300
Switzerland

Marek Laskowski

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

University of Guelph ( email )

Guelph, Ontario
Canada

Ning Nan

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada

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