As many Cats know my RMIT colleagues and I set up a Blockchain Innovation Hub a couple of years ago and have been working in that space.
One of the things that we have tried to do is develop a coherent theory of the economics of blockchain rather than look at the topic in an ad hoc manner. Now many people, I’m sure, would simply dismiss that exercise as academics being academic but we reckon that we have a deeper insight into how the blockchain and related technologies are going to play out over the next few years.
So building on some ideas we first proposed at Berkeley in 2017
we now have a book length treatment of what we are calling institutional cryptoeconomics.
Offering the first scholarly analysis of the economic nature of blockchains and the formation of the blockchain economy, this timely book explores the future of global capitalism. Applying the institutional economics of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, the authors highlight how blockchains are poised to reshape the nature of firms, governments, markets and civil society.
Chapters apply basic economic principles to explore blockchains and distributed ledger technologies through the framework of institutional economics. The book suggests ways in which cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may develop further in the future, bringing us back to a barter economy which removes the need for a third person in economic transactions. Outlining a ledger-centric view of the economy, the authors explore how blockchains and dehierarchalisation will reduce the demand for government regulation.
Institutional economists and scholars will greatly appreciate the thorough analysis of the development of institutional cryptoeconomics and insight into the future of blockchains that this book offers. Computer and technology scientists will also find this book to be a valuable read, as well as those working specifically in the blockchain industry.
Unfortunately Edward Elgar prices for the university library market so the book is pricey (no I’m not going to retire on the expected royalties).
The original journal article setting out those ideas is here. That particular paper was originally written in 2016 – but given journal publication lags only appeared in print last year. Working paper versions can be downloaded here and here.