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Blockchain: The birth of Decentralized Governance

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  • Benito Arruñada
  • Luis Garicano

Abstract

By allowing networks to split, decentralized blockchain platforms protect members against hold up, but hinder coordination, given that adaptation decisions are ultimately decentralized. The current solutions to improve coordination, based on “premining” cryptocoins, taxing members and incentivizing developers, are insufficient. For blockchain to fulfill its promise and outcompete centralized firms, it needs to develop new forms of “soft” decentralized governance (anarchic, aristocratic, democratic, and autocratic) that allow networks to avoid bad equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Benito Arruñada & Luis Garicano, 2018. "Blockchain: The birth of Decentralized Governance," Working Papers 1038, Barcelona School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pietrewicz, Lesław, 2019. "Blockchain: A Coordination Mechanism," Proceedings of the ENTRENOVA - ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference (2019), Rovinj, Croatia, in: Proceedings of the ENTRENOVA - ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference, Rovinj, Croatia, 12-14 September 2019, pages 137-143, IRENET - Society for Advancing Innovation and Research in Economy, Zagreb.
    2. Goldberg, Mitchell & Schär, Fabian, 2023. "Metaverse governance: An empirical analysis of voting within Decentralized Autonomous Organizations," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    3. Joshua S. Gans, 2019. "The Fine Print in Smart Contracts," NBER Working Papers 25443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hanna Halaburda & Guillaume Haeringer & Joshua Gans & Neil Gandal, 2022. "The Microeconomics of Cryptocurrencies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 971-1013, September.
    5. Olivier Meier & Aurélie Sannajust, 2021. "The smart contract revolution: a solution for the holdup problem?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 1073-1088, August.
    6. Santana, Carlos & Albareda, Laura, 2022. "Blockchain and the emergence of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): An integrative model and research agenda," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    7. Michael Sockin & Wei Xiong, 2023. "Decentralization through Tokenization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 78(1), pages 247-299, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    blockchain; Platforms; Networks; hold-up; Coordination; relational capital; incomplete contracts; decentralized governance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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