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

See all articles by Mark Fenwick

Mark Fenwick

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

Erik P. M. Vermeulen

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law; Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

Date Written: August 2019

Abstract

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

Fenwick, Mark and Vermeulen, Erik P.M., Decentralization Is Coming! The Future of Blockchain (August 2019). Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper no. 2019-6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3450467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3450467

Mark Fenwick

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

744 Motooka, Nishi-ku,
Fukuoka, Fukuoka 819-0395
Japan

Erik P.M. Vermeulen (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law ( email )

Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department ( email )

Amstelplein 2
Amsterdam
Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashiku
Fukuoka, 812-8581
Japan

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
57
Abstract Views
305
rank
408,760
PlumX Metrics