Institutional Discovery and Competition in the Evolution of Blockchain Technology

12 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018

See all articles by Chris Berg

Chris Berg

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technolog (RMIT University)

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University

Jason Potts

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technolog (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 Davidson, 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 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3220072

Chris Berg (Contact Author)

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technolog (RMIT University) ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Jason Potts

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technolog (RMIT University) ( email )

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