Crypto Public Choice
31 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 30, 2018
This paper presents ‘crypto public choice’ which examines the economics of collective decision making in the functioning of blockchain protocols and among related communities of users. We introduce the blockchain community to public choice theory and show how it can be applied to the study of this technology. Public choice offers an extensive literature that can be applied to blockchain design, can interpret the actions of different types of blockchain users, and can explain governance problems and challenges in each of the blockchain protocols. Blockchains are institutional technologies which provide new ways in which to produce public goods including consensus over shared facts and the security of property rights. Collective decision making by users of blockchain protocols relates to consensus over the contents of a shared ledger, as well as the initial design and subsequent upgrading of these protocols.
Keywords: Public choice, blockchain, cryptocurrency, constitutional design, consensus mechanisms, collective action
JEL Classification: D23, D70, D72, D73, H40, O30, P16
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