Decentralization Is Coming! The Future of Blockchain
Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper no. 2019-6
13 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 2019
Advocates of blockchain believe that distributed ledger technologies can provide us with a technological infrastructure to challenge the concentrated power of tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, and create a more equitable, sustainable and decentralized world. This paper considers these claims and concludes that they are preferable to defending the status quo or arguing that a solution might be found in more and better rules and regulations. Nevertheless, the future remains highly uncertain and we are currently living in a rapidly evolving “space” between two competing realities: a centralized old-world reality and a fast-emerging, but, as yet, incomplete, decentralized reality. We remain optimistic that decentralization is coming but identify powerful competing forces seeking to preserve the status quo. As such, we must encourage more organizations – business, government, investors, charities – to experiment with distributed ledger technologies and to participate actively in the digital transformation. We need more experimentation to address the current shortcomings of decentralization and to ensure the early arrival of mainstream applications of a technology that has the potential to solve some of the most pressing challenges of a digital age.
Keywords: Big Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Crypto-Economy, Decentralization, Digital Transformation, Distributed Ledgers, Disintermediation, Ethereum, Facebook, Satoshi Nakamoto, Smart Contracts, Technology
JEL Classification: K20, K22, K24, L50, M21, O30, O31, O33, O35, Q55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation