Byzantine political economy

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See all articles by Chris Berg

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: February 28, 2019

Abstract

For decades, computer science and economics have been working on the same questions in parallel. But each field has offered strikingly different answers. This paper examines the close relationship between what the study of distributed systems describes as Byzantine consensus and what the study of institutional economics describes as robust political economy. These parallels have become evident after the invention of distributed ledger technology (blockchain) via the Bitcoin cryptocurrency which provides a new technology for managing and coordinating knowledge about property rights. Blockchain is the instantiation of a new form of social infrastructure that securely decentralises property ledgers. As such it represents a shift in the role of government as a centralised property ledger.

Keywords: blockchains, byzantine generals problem, robust political economy, institutional economics

JEL Classification: A12, H11, H41, P11

Suggested Citation

Berg, Chris and Davidson, Sinclair and Potts, Jason, Byzantine political economy (February 28, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

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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