Decentralised Digital Ecosystems and Competition Law: A Conceptual Framework

Posted: 21 Nov 2019 Last revised: 22 Dec 2019

See all articles by Simonetta Vezzoso

Simonetta Vezzoso

University of Trento

Rob Nicholls

UNSW Business School; UNSW Business School Cybersecurity and Data Governance Research Network; UNSW Law Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation

Date Written: November 10, 2019

Abstract

In an environment where populism has the potential to drive regulation and where daily Internet use means dealing with a very few, very big, businesses, the concept of decentralisation is attractive. We are now at a stage where technology-powered decentralisation has the potential to have sweeping effects on the economy and on personal lives. It might be even expected that decentralisation does not raise serious competition law issues.

This paper analyses digital ledger technology as a tool to implement decentralisation. It provides an overview of the current blockchain landscape. It also offers a framework of analysis by first clarifying the concept of decentralisation. It analyses decentralised ecosystems by adopting a systems perspective. In doing so, it draws the important distinction between blockchain and distributed ledger technology as centralised systems and those which actually offer decentralisation. The paper uses the broad conceptual framework that it develops to discuss a selected number of potential competition policy aspects related to blockchain ecosystems.

Suggested Citation

Vezzoso, Simonetta and Nicholls, Rob, Decentralised Digital Ecosystems and Competition Law: A Conceptual Framework (November 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3484479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3484479

Simonetta Vezzoso (Contact Author)

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

Rob Nicholls

UNSW Business School ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61412646477 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.business.unsw.edu.au/our-people/rob-nicholls

UNSW Business School Cybersecurity and Data Governance Research Network ( email )

UNSW
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61 4 1264 6477 (Phone)

UNSW Law Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 4 1264 6477 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.business.unsw.edu.au/our-people/rob-nicholls

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