Ostrom Amongst the Machines: Blockchain as a Knowledge Commons
17 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2019 Last revised: 27 Nov 2019
Date Written: June 20, 2019
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
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