Institutional Discovery and Competition in the Evolution of Blockchain Technology

12 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018  

Chris Berg

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Date Written: July 26, 2018

Abstract

Blockchains are an institutional technology for facilitating decentralised exchange. As open-source software, anybody can develop their own blockchain, ‘fork’ an existing blockchain, or stack a new blockchain on top of an existing one - creating a new environment for exchange with its own rules (institutions) and (crypto)currency. Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2008, blockchains have proliferated, each offering iterative institutional variation. Blockchains present a discrete space in which we can observe the process of institutional discovery through competition. This paper looks at the evolution of blockchains as a Hayekian discovery process. The public nature of blockchains – most blockchains offer public transaction – allows us to observe experimentation and competition at an institutional level with a precision previously unavailable compared to other instances of institutional competition.

Keywords: Institutional Evolution, Blockchain, Technological Change

JEL Classification: B41, B52, P51

Suggested Citation

Berg, Chris and Dav290796on, Sinclair and Potts, Jason, Institutional Discovery and Competition in the Evolution of Blockchain Technology (July 26, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3220072

Chris Berg (Contact Author)

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

Level 12, 239 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

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)

Jason Potts

RMIT University ( email )

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