Decentralization vs Incoordination – Tadge Dryja (MIT DCI)BPASE ’17, January 26th 2017, Stanford UniversityStanford Cyber Initiative
The conference will explore the use of formal methods, empirical analysis, and risk modeling to better understand security and systemic risk in blockchain protocols. The conference aims to foster multidisciplinary collaboration among practitioners and researchers in blockchain protocols, distributed systems, cryptography, computer security, and risk management.
The main contribution of this paper lies in the synthesis of information economics in finance – as related to the mechanisms of money and quasi-money creation in the banking and shadow banking sector – and the mechanism of money creation in cryptocurrency ecosystem. In particular, drawing lessons from the literature on ‘safe assets’ and building on Holmstrom’s seminal work (2015), this paper highlights striking differences in the basic information economics of cryptocurrencies as opposed to fiat currencies (including the monetary aggregates). The main finding of this paper is that, Bitcoin trumps central bank money and private and quasi-private money – created by the banking and shadow banking system – on account of its informational foundations. The superior information economics of Bitcoin, which is built on symmetric (common) knowledge as to the inner workings of Bitcoin Blockchain, as opposed to that of fiat currencies, which is built on symmetric ignorance as to the underlying collateral, would make Bitcoin a new ‘safe’ asset holding the promise of maturing into a viable store of value, a potential medium of exchange, and a unit of account. By comparing the information economics of central, commercial and shadow bank money with that of Bitcoin, we highlight important aspects of information economics of Bitcoin that would inform any pending regulatory intervention in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
This paper furthers the discussion on the “leisures of blockchains” by examining the case of blockchain narcotization in Potcoin, with the attendant challenges of legality, economics, legitimacy, technology, and its grounding in cryptoanarchist thought.
As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, the issue of how to regulate them becomes more pressing. The attractiveness of cryptocurrencies is due in part to their decentralized, peer-to-peer structure. This makes them an alternative to national currencies which are controlled by central banks. Given that these cryptocurrencies are already replacing some of the “regular” national currencies and financial products, the question then arises: should they be regulated? And if so, how? This paper draws the legal distinction between cryptocurrencies which are in fact currency and those which are securities disguised as currency. It further suggests that in cases where a token is indeed a security, regular securities regulation should apply. In all other cases anti-fraud measures should be in place in order to protect investors. Further regulation should only be put in place if the cryptocurrency starts increasing systemic risk in the general financial system.
First it has to be stated that Cryptocurrencies are mostly used for legal transfers between legitimate partners and are becoming more and more popular in our society. Any heavy regime of new regulations would make all transactions costlier and less convenient. Such negative economic impact is opposing the need of monitoring the financing structures of organized criminal and terrorist organisations. With the increasing importance of cryptocurrencies, a completely new field of complex problems is arising through the implied anonymity and complexity or sheer impossibility to track transfers in the dark net. As regulations in this new financial market will be difficult to enforce, it is necessary to establish international cooperation and capacity building to implement some possibilities for law-enforcement and intelligence entities to monitor the illegal parts of the capital flowing in these systems. To solve this situation, the focus should lie on the attempts to make the risk of detection of such transfers higher for the parties involved. Without interfering too strongly with the new financing system developing, this process asks for improved compliance and cooperation on all levels and capacities.
This paper outlines how the digital currency and network technology of bitcoin functions and explores the context from which it emerged. Bitcoin was conceived in 2008 as an attempt to alleviate trust in government and banks which was at a low during this period of financial crisis. However, with bitcoin trust does not dissipate, rather it shifts. Trust moves from trust in banks or states to trust in algorithms and encryption software. There is a move from conventional trust in the gold standard—“In Gold We Trust”—to the trust announced on U.S. currency—“In God We Trust”—to trust in software and networks—“In Digital We Trust”. The hyperbole of bitcoin discourse is deemed to be an expression of the Californian Ideology, which itself often conceals a right-wing agenda. The paper analyses the hype behind the celebration of decentralised digital networks. It proposes that a form of network fetishism operates here. The failure of bitcoin as a currency (rather than as a hoarded commodity in an emergent bubble) and as an idea might be attributed to the failure to see how ultra-modern digital networks conceal very traditional consolidation of power and capital. The rise and fall of bitcoin, in terms of its original ambition, serves as a cautionary tale in the digital age—it reveals how ingenious innovations that might challenge power and the consolidation of capital become co-opted and colonised by capital. Finally, the paper offers a discussion of the possible progressive uses of the digital technology bitcoin has facilitated.
Permission-less blockchains can realise trustless trust, albeit at the cost of limiting the complexity of computation tasks. To explain the implications for scalability, we have implemented a trust model for smart contracts, described as agents in an open multi-agent system. Agent intentions are not necessarily known and autonomous agents have to be able to make decisions under risk. The ramifications of these general conditions for scalability are analysed for Ethereum and then generalised to other current and future platforms.
One of the key problems of blockchain technology is lack of control of users, organized societies, and state authorities over the transactions and asset on the decentralized network.
The distributed ledger and blockchain are interesting as an example of new technology, which is the rule not only for users but also for governments. Technology-driven rules can be viewed as a technological law for blockchain users and legislative authorities. No legal regulation can change the anonymity or immutability of blockchain. Only another technology could turn the situation around. This is a lesson for every lawyer to learn not only the law but the scope of technology.
The purpose of the article is an analysis of modern determinants of control distribution over assets, transactions, and decentralized organizations on blockchain distributed network.
The article shows how control appears in a variety of different situations on blockchain network. Examples range from the individual and organizational control to control over the networking system discussing the possibilities of the participants to exercise control.
On the base of the legal cases, the ability of controlling shareholder, directors, managers, governments, stakeholders and users of crypto-communities to control the organization, transactions and assets are discussed.
Keywords: control, blockchain, decentralized organization, virtual organization