New Data City: The future of the digital CBD as a data pool on a DAO

13 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2021

See all articles by Jason Potts

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Trent MacDonald

RMIT University; RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub; ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society

Date Written: July 23, 2021

Abstract

The growth of the digital economy and advances in AI make data an increasingly useful and valuable factor for economic production and innovation. Yet high transaction costs and weak property rights mean that data is often owned and used by the firms that built the platforms that captured it. Because data is non-rivalrous this is often socially inefficient. It also exposes privacy hazards for consumers. Policy remedies include stronger privacy protections and consumer data rights, antitrust action against large firms, and support of new institutions such as data trusts or cooperatives. We propose an alternative solution at the level of the city in the form of a special data zone governed by a DAO, with city denizens as token holders. The connection between blockchains and cities is not new, but here we focus on how digital institutional technology creates data as a resource. In this design, the city builds and owns a data co-op, with firms that locate in the city able to access that data on terms governed by the DAO with token-mediated transactions, decisions and permissions. Data becomes a resource that is both produced and consumed in the city, powering a new economic flywheel.

Keywords: data, cities, platforms, DAOs

JEL Classification: O18, O36

Suggested Citation

Potts, Jason and MacDonald, Trent, New Data City: The future of the digital CBD as a data pool on a DAO (July 23, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3892009 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3892009

Jason Potts (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

Trent MacDonald

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Australia

RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub ( email )

106-108 Victoria Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Australia

ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society ( email )

106-108 Victoria Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Australia

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