The Logics of Technology Decentralization - The Case of Distributed Ledger Technologies

Bodó, B., & Giannopoulou, A. The Logics of Technology Decentralization: the Case of Distributed Ledger Technologies. In M. Ragnedda, & G. Destefanis (Eds.), Blockchain and Web 3.0: Social, Economic, and Technological Challenges Routledge, Forthcoming

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2019-05

Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2019-02

17 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2019

See all articles by Balázs Bodó

Balázs Bodó

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Alexandra Giannopoulou

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Date Written: February 7, 2019

Abstract

Decentralization is heralded as the most important technological design aspect of distributed ledger technologies (DLTs). In this chapter we’ll analyze the concept of decentralization, with the goal to understand the social, legal, economic forces that produce more or less decentralized techno-social systems. We first give an overview of decentralization as a political ideology, and as an ideal and natural end-point in the development of digital technologies. We then move beyond this discourse and treat decentralization, its extent, its mode, the systems which it can refer to as the products of particular economic, political, social dynamics around and within these techno-social systems. We then point at the concrete forces that shape the actual degree of (de)centralization. Through this, we show that the extent to which a techno-social system is (de)centralized at any given moment should not be measured by its distance from an ideological ideal of total decentralization, but should be seen as the sum of all the social, economic, political, legal forces that impact a techno-social system.

Keywords: decentralization, law, technology regulation, distributed ledger technology, information law

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Bodó, Balázs and Giannopoulou, Alexandra, The Logics of Technology Decentralization - The Case of Distributed Ledger Technologies (February 7, 2019). Bodó, B., & Giannopoulou, A. The Logics of Technology Decentralization: the Case of Distributed Ledger Technologies. In M. Ragnedda, & G. Destefanis (Eds.), Blockchain and Web 3.0: Social, Economic, and Technological Challenges Routledge, Forthcoming; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2019-05; Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2019-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3330590

Balázs Bodó (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX
Netherlands

Alexandra Giannopoulou

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX
Netherlands

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