Antitrust and Costless Verification: An Optimistic and a Pessimistic View of the Implications of Blockchain Technology

16 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2018 Last revised: 2 Oct 2018

See all articles by Christian Catalini

Christian Catalini

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

Date Written: June 19, 2018

Abstract

Blockchain technology allows a network of individuals, institutions or devices to coordinate economic activity on a global scale ('internet-level consensus') without assigning the same degree of control to the intermediary operating and facilitating transactions in the marketplace. This allows for the creation of new types of decentralized digital platforms where the benefits of network effects are separated from the traditional costs they entail in terms of market power. We discuss both the opportunities and challenges the technology involves from an antitrust perspective, and in particular how it can be used to facilitate the creation of extremely efficient and competitive digital markets, as well as to facilitate collusion and make antitrust enforcement more difficult.

Keywords: blockchain, antitrust, cryptocurrencies, network effects, market power

Suggested Citation

Catalini, Christian and Tucker, Catherine E., Antitrust and Costless Verification: An Optimistic and a Pessimistic View of the Implications of Blockchain Technology (June 19, 2018). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 5523-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3199453 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3199453

Christian Catalini (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-480
Cambridge, MA MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty-and-research/faculty-directory/detail/?id=58777

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )

100 Main St
E62-536
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,137
rank
16,524
Abstract Views
2,820
PlumX