In December 2018, we organised a two-day workshop dedicated to blockchain scholarly research. The workshop brought together teams from four different projects: the Blockchain&Society Policy Research Lab from Amsterdam, P2P Models from Madrid, MoneyLab from Amsterdam, and Weizenbaum Institute’s Trust in Distributed Environments research group from Berlin. The workshop’s overall goal was to incite interactions between the projects, to explore common research possibilities intersecting between distinct projects, and to provide a breeding ground for discussions on each project’s research focus. These are the highlights:
- (Dis)trust in institutions and the abolishment of intermediaries present issues of particular legal, governance and technological interest; knowledge transfer for interdisciplinary scholarly research in these topics is necessary.
- Decentralized technological infrastructure and cryptocurrencies could be used in the context of commons-based communities. The preconditions, effects, and implications of this model require further attention and empirical research.
- Translating legal norms into code and creating autonomous governance systems on-chain is a particular research challenge; it is related not solely to smart contract regulation but also to decentralized platforms with potential to create enforceable agreements.