Ostrom Amongst the Machines: Blockchain as a Knowledge Commons

17 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2019 Last revised: 27 Nov 2019

See all articles by Herminio Bodon

Herminio Bodon

University of Pittsburgh

Pedro Bustamante

University of Pittsburgh - School of Information Sciences, Students

Marcela Gomez

University of Pittsburgh - School of Information Sciences

Prashabnt Krishnamurthy

University of Pittsburgh

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Ilia Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh

Tymofiy Mylovanov

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Martin B. H. Weiss

Date Written: June 20, 2019

Abstract

Blockchains are distributed ledger technologies that allow the recording of any data structure, including money, property titles, and contracts. In this paper, we suggest that Hayekian political economy is especially well suited to explain how blockchain emerged, but that Elinor Ostrom’s approach to commons governance is particularly useful to understand why blockchain anarchy is successful. Our central conclusions are that the blockchain can be thought of as a spontaneous order, as Hayek anticipated, as well as a knowledge commons, as Ostrom’s studies of self-governance anticipated.

Keywords: blockchain, knowledge commons, blockchain governance

Suggested Citation

Bodon, Herminio and Bustamante, Pedro and Gomez, Marcela and Krishnamurthy, Prashabnt and Madison, Michael J. and Murtazashvili, Ilia and Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick and Mylovanov, Tymofiy and Weiss, Martin B. H., Ostrom Amongst the Machines: Blockchain as a Knowledge Commons (June 20, 2019). U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3462648 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3462648

Herminio Bodon

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Pedro Bustamante

University of Pittsburgh - School of Information Sciences, Students ( email )

United States

Marcela Gomez (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Information Sciences ( email )

United States

Prashabnt Krishnamurthy

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7855 (Phone)
412-648-2648 (Fax)

Ilia Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh

Tymofiy Mylovanov

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh
United States

No contact information is available for Martin B. H. Weiss

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