Institutional Discovery and Competition in the Evolution of Blockchain Technology
12 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 26, 2018
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: Suggested Citation