Property rights, knowledge commons and blockchain governance
24 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2019 Last revised: 28 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 27, 2020
Knowledge about property rights is a commons that facilitates market exchange and economic coordination. The governance of that shared knowledge resource—the various formal and informal rules that maintain ledgers of property rights—ranges from community norms to formal state registries. In this chapter we make three contributions. First, we use the lens of knowledge commons theory to argue that knowledge about property rights is a shared resource. Second, we explore how that knowledge commons is governed—particularly relating to “rules in use”—might shift due to technological advances in distributed ledgers. Third, we argue that as blockchain augments and complements existing governance structures, it creates a more robust political economy.
Keywords: blockchains, byzantine generals problem, robust political economy, institutional economics, commons
JEL Classification: A12, H11, H41, P11
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