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  • The Blockchain Governance Toolkit – A Cookbook for a Resilient and Robust EcosystemThe Blockchain Governance Toolkit – A Cookbook for a Resilient and Robust EcosystemJune 10, 2024The Blockchain Governance Toolkit – A Cookbook for a Resilient and Robust Ecosystem Download the report here.  BlockchainGov has embarked with Project Liberty Institute on  year-long research initiative on the governance of blockchain networks and decentralized systems, exploring ways for communities to design governance models that allow people to be represented and express their voices. Today our collaborative endeavor culminate today with “The Blockchain Governance Toolkit – A Cookbook for a Resilient and Robust Ecosystem”!  After investigating the governance dynamics of 11 leading blockchain networks, this toolkit translates our insights into actionable tools and recommendations aiming to pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable technological ecosystem, at large. Through this toolkit, we aim to help governance designers develop resilient and robust governance systems for their respective blockchain networks, considering their respective preferences, goals, and contexts. We decided to structure this report as a toolkit (a cookbook) rather than a technical manual so that we can present multiple governance solutions (recipes), each with their unique features (flavors). Hungry for more choice and voice in the technology that impacts your daily life? Have a look at our Blockchain Governance Design Cookbook! [...]
  • Proof of Humanity: Ethnographic Research of a “democratic” DAOProof of Humanity: Ethnographic Research of a “democratic” DAOMarch 12, 2024Jamilya Kamalova, Sofia Cossar, Tara Merk. In early 2021, the first Sybil-resistant registry of humans was launched. The Proof of Humanity (PoH) registry and the PoH DAO is the first decentralized autonomous organization democratically governed running on the Ethereum network. To help us conduct this research, we relied on academic articles from a lot of different disciplines, such as political science, digital ethnography, democratic theory (especially literature conceptualizing Western liberal democracies to make sense of our empirical observations and findings), but also studies on blockchain systems and blockchain-based governance. The problem of this research is: What governance dynamics led to the Proof of Humanity DAO’s crisis and decision to fork? Our theory was that such a decision came from a persistent governance crisis caused by the absence of strong democratic elements, procedures, regulations, and institutions that could have supported the coexistence of its diverse community rather than leading to its growing and ultimately irreparable division. So we conducted this ethnographic study involving online observation, interviews, events, and institutional analysis. Participants signed community consent forms under BlockchainGov’s research ethics, approved by EUI/CERSA, and agreed to the use and publication of data collected about the PoH DAO community for this research project. Now, in March 2024, we are releasing an updated version of the research, integrating the feedback received from the community on the originally presented findings. Read the paper to discover more about our findings! This document is available in English and Spanish. Download the report here.   [...]
  • Interim Report on Blockchain GovernanceInterim Report on Blockchain GovernanceJanuary 25, 2024Interim Report on Blockchain Governance Practices Download the report here.  As decentralized technologies such as blockchain rapidly evolve, establishing effective governance models is crucial to guide stakeholders towards a sustainable and equitable digital future. To enhance understanding and promote responsible practices in this landscape, Project Liberty Institute and BlockchainGov have embarked on a multi stakeholder governance initiative on good governance for a responsible decentralized technological ecosystem. The first intermediary report compares for the first time governance mechanisms and dynamics across 11 major blockchain networks. Using an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, the report explores prominent blockchain systems including Avalanche, Bitcoin, Cardano, Cosmos, Ethereum, Filecoin, Optimism, Polygon, Polkadot, Tezos, and Zcash. It examines these networks through a multidimensional governance taxonomy, collecting data through desk research and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. The Multi Stakeholder Council set up by Project Liberty and BlockchainGov for this Initiative has been instrumental in guiding the development of this report. The analysis has uncovered six key findings related to the legal entities created to support blockchain networks, power distribution across governance areas and stakeholder groups, decentralization objectives and challenges, the interplay of on-chain code and off-chain practices in governance formalization, predominant decision-making mechanisms, and processes for handling security breaches. The intermediary report highlights that while blockchain networks are technically decentralized across nodes, their governance involves multiple layers. Hence determining influence requires scrutinizing the types of decisions being made, the stakeholders involved, and the specific mechanisms utilized. This understanding enables designing inclusive governance aligned with community values. The report also analyzes how governance comprises both on-chain protocol rules and off-chain social practices. The key findings of this report will guide the formulation of good governance recommendations providing pragmatic guidance to stakeholders and the overall ecosystem of blockchain and decentralized technologies. This pioneering comparison marks a milestone to advance the good governance of blockchain and decentralized technologies. Project Liberty Institute and BlockchainGov, together with the members of the Initiative’s Governance Multi Stakeholder Council, will now, based on the findings of this comparative study, work on distilling recommendations for the forthcoming Manual on Best Practices for Blockchain and Decentralized Technologies, scheduled for release in April 2024.   [...]
  • Research Report – Blockchain Constitutionalism: The Role Of Legitimacy In Polycentric SystemsResearch Report – Blockchain Constitutionalism: The Role Of Legitimacy In Polycentric SystemsOctober 26, 2023Research Report – Blockchain Constitutionalism: The Role Of Legitimacy In Polycentric Systems Primavera de Filippi, Morshed Mannan, Kelsie Nabben, Jamilya Kamalova, Sofia Cossar, Tara Merk, Silke Noa, Marco Crepaldi, Joshua Dávila. Between 5 and 7 June 2023, BlockchainGov organized a conference on “Blockchain Constitutionalism: The Role of Legitimacy in Polycentric Systems” at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute in Florence, Italy.  Blockchain networks and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) have seen a surge in adoption in recent years. To fulfill their promise of widespread structural innovation and change meaningfully, they require governance that maintains legitimacy for internal and external stakeholders. As permissionless, globe-spanning technologies with significant effects on the general public, there has been a growing interest in viewing these blockchain-based systems in constitutional terms. Early analysis regarded the rules expressed through software code as a form of ‘on-chain constitution.’ At the same time, more recently, these have been supplemented with written documents that articulate additional rules and principles regarding the governance of the blockchain-based system (‘off-chain constitutions’). The common thread among the various examples of blockchain “constitutions” seems to be that they define aspects of a system’s decision-making process and make them relatively difficult to change. However, both blockchain practitioners and legal scholars do not agree on whether we should consider these as ‘constitutions’ or ‘constitutionalization’ processes in a strict sense, nor to what extent these efforts can render blockchain systems more legitimate. The EUI Conference brought together experts, academics, and practitioners to explore this intersection. You can read the full report here.  [...]
  • September 2023 Papers UpdateSeptember 2023 Papers UpdateSeptember 11, 2023September 2023 Papers Update Our team has been keeping busy with a variety of research projects, focus groups, and initiatives, analyzing from different perspectives the evolution of the blockchain space! It’s been a while since we last updated our website with these exciting developments, so we wanted to share some of the latest happenings with you. Here you can find the list of our most recent papers and book chapters. Papers Von Blomberg, M., Reijers, W. (2023) “Who Deserves Credit? Banks for the Virtuous in Rural China” in Journal of Contemporary China. Taylor & Francis. Bühler, M.M.; Calzada, I.; Cane, I.; Jelinek, T.; Kapoor, A.; Mannan, M.; Mehta, S.; Mookerje, V.; Nübel, K.; Pentland, A.; Scholz, T.; Siddharth, D.; Tait, J.; Vaitla, B.; Zhu, J. (2023) “Unlocking the Power of Digital Commons: Data Cooperatives as a Pathway for Data Sovereign, Innovative and Equitable Digital Communities”. Digital 2023, 3, 146–171. https://doi.org/10.3390/digital3030011 Merk, T., Tan, J., Hubbard, S., Oak, E. (2023) “Open Problems in DAOs”, website publication (and under process for submission) De Filippi, P., Santolini, M. (2023) “Extitutional Theory: Modeling Structured Social Dynamics Beyond Institutions” in Ephemera: Theory in Politics and Organisation  Mannan, M., Pek, S. & Scholz, T. (2023) “Platform Cooperatives and Poverty Eradication: Building on the Legacy of Johnston Birchall”, in Journal of Entrepreneurial & Organizational Diversity (accepted, forthcoming) Mannan, M. & Pek, S. (2023) “Platform Cooperatives and the Dilemmas of Labor-Member Participation”, in New Technology, Work and Employment.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12273. De Filippi, P., Enguehard, C., Fayon, D., Gagnebien, A., Vidal, G. (2023) “Quelques enjeux de sécurité, juridiques, économiques, et énergétiques des blockchains” in Terminal. https://doi.org/10.4000/terminal.8995   Special Issues De Filippi, P., Enguehard C., Fayon D., Gagnebien A., Vidal G. (eds) (2023) special edition on “Blockchains : enjeux de sécurité, juridiques, économiques, et coûts énergétiques” for Terminal. [...]
  • Compliant Book-Keeping for DAOs through “Proof of Trusted Origin:” A Technical GuideCompliant Book-Keeping for DAOs through “Proof of Trusted Origin:” A Technical GuideMay 8, 2023Isaac Patka, Sofia Cossar, Eric Alston, Primavera De Filippi, Frederick Dudley, Fatemeh Fannizadeh, Jake Hartnell, Rolf Hoefer, Aaron Lane, Will Papper, Joshua Tan, & Michael Zargham The Problem As novel organizational and socio-technical architectures, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) continue proliferating. Even after a somewhat turbulent 2022 for the blockchain industry, recent reports show that DAOs have continued growing exponentially in resources and membership. DAOs treasuries hold approximately USD 25 billion, and 6.7 million token holders manage governance. While DAOs’ underlying purpose or activity vary widely, they all share at least one thing: reliance on “human contributions” for development and maintenance. Even those conducting the bulk of their operations on-chain require, from time to time, software developers to write code and deploy smart contracts and moderators to manage communication platforms for the community. In exchange for their efforts, DAOs may offer contributors token-based compensation or retroactive public goods funding. For example, they can allocate up to 50% of their treasuries to Product & Development expenses. However, transactions on permissionless and public blockchain networks are, by default, transparent. While transparency contributes to greater auditability, this technical feature can erode contributors’ right to payment privacy, recognized in most countries as a fair labor practice. It is now possible to conduct private transactions in blockchain systems by relying on privacy-preserving networks such as Z-Cash or Monero or resorting to privacy pools in tumblers such as TornadoCash. Yet, DAOs and their contributors may want to ensure that the privacy-preserving tool of their choosing exposes them only to “trusted” entities by avoiding transactions with entities involved in fraudulent or malicious activities.  The Question How can DAOs compensate their contributors in a privacy-preserving way while ensuring they only interact with “trusted” entities?  The Solution  We propose “Proof of Trusted Origin” and “Compliant Book-keeping” as mechanisms to ensure DAOs can compensate their contributors while respecting their right to payment privacy and shielding them against interactions with fraudulent or malicious entities. This technological solution relies on privacy pools and cryptographic proofs called “notes.”  While Monero and Z-Cash are examples of privacy-preserving cryptocurrencies, token mixers or tumblers operate higher up in the tech stack. They are decentralized platforms designed with the intent to conceal or obfuscate users’ transaction history. They do so by mixing users’ deposited funds into a common pool and allowing users to withdraw amounts into a new wallet address. As a result, third parties cannot specifically link a deposit address with a withdrawal address. Tornado Cash, launched in 2019, is an example of a decentralized, non-custodial token tumbler running on any network compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. To understand how end users would interact with Tornado Cash before the publicly hosted website was taken down in 2022, one must split the workflow described in the whitepaper into three instances: deposit, wait, and withdrawal.  Deposit: To deposit funds, end users navigate the website and select Ether or an ERC-20 token and the amount they want to send from a set of pre-established possible amounts. The website also provides a random key or a random 256-bit number (a “deposit note”) that can be downloaded in .txt format as a backup. That “note” serves as proof of the “anonymity set” the end user’s transaction belonged to. An “anonymity set” is a batch of transactions waiting for withdrawal in the Tornado Cash smart contract denominated in the same token and for the same amount as the end user’s withdrawal request (e.g., 1 ETH). The end user then pays a gas fee and sends the deposit transaction to the Tornado Cash smart contract address on the Ethereum network alongside a hash of the generated “note.” Wait: After depositing, end users are recommended to wait a certain period of time before withdrawing their funds to reduce the chance that a third party might link the end users’ deposit and withdrawal transactions. While there is no fixed required waiting time, developers originally recommended waiting at least 24 hours. In practice, the waiting time is determined by the recent transaction volume in the smart contract, as well as the size of the anonymity set more generally, both of which influence the extent to which a given payment out of the smart contract can be probabilistically linked to a given original payment into the pool.  Withdrawal: To withdraw funds, end users go back to the Tornado Cash website and select the same token and amount they originally deposited. They must also select between two withdrawal methods: a wallet or a relayer. When choosing a wallet, the end user adds a recipient address that is untraceable and unlinkable to any prior transaction history yet with sufficient ETH to cover the gas fee. Adding ETH to the withdrawal address creates a “chicken and egg dilemma” and can compromise anonymity; thus, end users might opt for a relayer. If so, users do not need to pre-fund the withdrawal account and instead pay a fee to the relayer to process the withdrawal on their behalf, enhancing privacy as a result. Another piece of data users must submit is linked to the original “deposit note.” In simple terms, the “deposit note” becomes split into two halves, one acting as a “secret” and the other acting as a “lock.” When the end user sends the withdrawal request to the Tornado Cash smart contract, they also provide a hash of the “lock” and a zero-knowledge proof (zkp)  generated using both the “secret” and the “lock.” This zkp proves the withdrawal is linked to a valid deposit and that the deposit has not been spent yet. After verifying the proof, the smart contract sends the funds to the recipient’s address.   On 7 March 2023, Privacy Pools, a fork of Tornado Cash, was launched on Optimism testnet, an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution. Currently in development, Privacy Pools is an open-source project succeeding Tornado Cash which allows users to make privacy-preserving transactions while proving that the funds have not been connected to fraudulent or malicious entities. The workflow remains the same in the deposit and waiting instances periods. Yet, when end users send a withdrawal request to the smart contract, they not only provide a zkp to prove that the withdrawal is linked to a valid and unspent deposit. They can also provide another zkp to prove that a withdrawal is linked to a deposit that is part of a subset of good deposits (“proof of inclusion”) or not part of a subset of bad deposits (“proof of exclusion.”) In contrast to the original Tornado Cash, end users of Privacy Pools can now remove themselves from anonymity sets found to be associated with these activities.    The Implementation  DAOs and their contributors can utilize Privacy Pools to generate Proof of Trusted Origin, ensuring privacy-preserving compensations originating from trusted entities only.   Deposit: The DAO decides to use Privacy Pools smart contract to pay for compensations to contributors. It chooses to deposit in one of the accepted tokens and for one of the pre-established amounts. The DAO downloads the generated “deposit note” in .txt format. For the deposit to be made, it pays the corresponding gas fee, and it sends the deposit transaction alongside the hash of the generated “deposit note.” Right after, the DAO securely delivers the “deposit note” to the corresponding contributor expecting the compensation.    Wait: The contributor waits at least 24 hours to redeem their deposit. That waiting period is to reduce the correlation between deposits & withdrawals and may require longer in cases of low transaction volume.  Withdraw: The contributor decides to withdraw the deposit made by the DAO through the Privacy Pools smart contract. When sending a withdrawal request, the contributor utilizes the “deposit note” to create a zkp to prove that the withdrawal is linked to a valid and unspent deposit and that it is linked to either a subset of good deposits (“proof of inclusion”) or does not belong to a subset of bad deposits (“proof of exclusion”).   While the aforementioned process could already be executed through the Privacy Pools open-source project, a “Proof of Trusted Origin” requires an additional step whereby the contributor can obtain a .txt statement of the generated “proof of inclusion” or “proof of exclusion.” This Proof can be utilized for the purposes of accounting and compliance with regulations of specific jurisdictions where the DAO is incorporated or operating and where the contributor is based. These proofs would be subject to standard accounting practices for organizational recordkeeping. The interested organization or individual could maintain private records of contributors, payments, and proofs of trusted origin to ensure tax compliance or other regulatory objectives.  Additionally, because of the nature of compensation as a particular type of transaction, some aspects merit deeper consideration:  If compensation ought to be paid at a specific moment or within a certain timeframe, the DAO must consider the waiting period recommended to ensure the privacy of the transaction.  DAOs and contributors may decide to denominate the compensation in stablecoins to avoid volatility risks associated with other tokens and cryptocurrencies, although this comes at the cost of accepting the counterparty risk of the stablecoin issuer.  The receipt can be redeemed by anyone who holds it, including redeemed by the sender, before the intended recipient can claim it. Given this, the system outlined herein is best for ongoing and regular payments between relatively trusted parties, not trustless payments. Conclusion The world of distributed network organizations is still rapidly developing alongside the underlying blockchain technology and smart contract affordances that form these organizations’ technical backbone. Essential to the flourishing of this novel organizational ecosystem are guarantees that traditional organizational contexts provide their employees, like privacy of payments as against third parties. While traditional organizations accord this level of privacy, they do not prevent duly authorized regulators from accessing these payment records as and where needed. This technical guide explains how decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) can use the technology stack provided by Privacy Pools to ensure compensation privacy while simultaneously proving that funds received did not emanate from an untrusted actor. This presents a compliant set of book-keeping practices for DAOs through using zero-knowledge proofs of trusted origin and a privacy network within the Ethereum network. Using this technology in the novel application that we describe, DAOs can obtain the same affordances available to private employers worldwide while ensuring regulatory compliance in the face of sanctioned uses of privacy pools. Thus, this technological stack will likely play an important role in fomenting legitimate and innovative employment arrangements within DAOs. However, the applications of this stack are not limited to payroll purposes. Technical Demo Appendix Privacy Pools Step 1: Visit Privacy Pools dApp https://www.privacypools.com Step 2: Connect both a Metamask wallet and a Note wallet Step 3: Deposit into the pool https://goerli-optimism.etherscan.io/tx/0x263ed21cf1019f8c7c3cf5b750c3e747fc7abed9d95fc758d9468d5d411f3d7b This transaction shows Proof of Origin of funds going in. Step 5: Visit Withdraw page Step 6: Optionally exclude certain deposits (e.g. if they are sanctioned) Step 7: Complete withdrawal to a new wallet This transaction shows funds being withdrawn to a different addresshttps://goerli-optimism.etherscan.io/tx/0x897e041bdf0937649cba5861d262120aaf017937afe70b77686eaf463ba6a835 ZKBob In ZKBob, one can either publicly send the Bob token or privately send the ZKbob token. Both are USD-denominated stablecoins. ZKBob works differently, as there is no blacklist for sanctioned wallets currently. Instead, limits are imposed to reduce the tool’s utility for moving dirty money. Transaction history (only viewable to the logged-in user) Public transaction: https://polygonscan.com/tx/0x535edde6227f4405d791d1c6106a3deab46396e88b73e667f5760aed43e197d1 Private transaction (notice no ERC20 logs): https://polygonscan.com/tx/0x9f60fcc5917d5d7bcef1b25877baf982b3ca16ebc94fba0f641bdbd2d40650c4 [...]
  • OTNS: Institutional Design and Recognizing the Value of PoliticsOTNS: Institutional Design and Recognizing the Value of PoliticsApril 21, 2023Overthrowing the Network States: “Institutional Design and Recognizing the Value of Politics” with Jason Potts For the first time of the series, Primavera de Filippi and The Blockchain Socialist welcome a fan of Balaji. Jason Potts is a professor of economics but also the co-director of the blockchain innovation hub of RMIT. We discussed his dissatisfaction with the book, the commons, and how productive forces are growing past market capitalism. You can listen to this episode on The Blockchain Socialist Website. [...]
  • The BlockchainGov Newsletter #3 | April 21st, 2023The BlockchainGov Newsletter #3 | April 21st, 2023April 21, 2023The latest edition of the BlockchainGov Newsletter is out!This edition covers a wide range of topics, such as the recent research papers published by BlockchainGov members, upcoming events, the various participation of all the researchers, and more. Read it here Don’t forget to subscribe not to miss the next ones. They will be published quarterly. Subscribe on LinkedIn! [...]
  • OTNS: Maximum Freedom in Complex Social OrganizationsOTNS: Maximum Freedom in Complex Social OrganizationsApril 4, 2023New episode of Overthrowing The Network State (OTNS) online! This time, Primavera De Filippi and The Blockchain Socialist are joined by Eric Alston, a researcher at BlockScience and Scholar-in-Residence at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. Eric’s work focuses on the study of institutions, with particular emphasis on property, constitutions, and blockchains. During the interview, the conversation turns to the differences between formal and informal institutions, organizational complexity, and the challenges of maximum freedom. Eric’s insights provide a fresh and valuable perspective on these complex topics. If you’re interested in exploring the intricacies of institutions and organizational complexity, be sure to check out this episode of OTNS. You can find it, along with all previous episodes, on The Blockchain Socialist website! Listen to it below! [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: How to Optimize for RealityOverthrowing The Network State: How to Optimize for RealityMarch 27, 2023Overthrowing The Network State: “How to optimize for reality?” with Michael Zargham We are thrilled to announce the newest episode of Overthrowing The Network State (OTNS), featuring Michael Zargham, the CEO of Block Science. The Blockchain Socialist, Primavera De Filippi, and their guest continue their efforts to overthrow the ontological framework of network states from the perspective of complex systems engineering. During the discussion, they delve into the concept of how network states don’t optimize for reality and the importance of not confusing the map with the territory. Finally, they explore how an alternative to network states should handle infrastructures and the potential impact that this could have on our society. Michael Zargham brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, making for an insightful and thought-provoking conversation. Stay tuned for more episodes of OTNS! You can find the previous episodes and additional content on The Blockchain Socialist website. [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: Dictatorship by Tech CEO with Nathan SchneiderOverthrowing The Network State: Dictatorship by Tech CEO with Nathan SchneiderMarch 13, 2023Overthrowing The Network State: Dictatorship by Tech CEO with Nathan Schneider Overthrowing The Network State: Dictatorship by Tech CEO with Nathan Schneider We are excited to announce the 6th episode of Overthrowing The Network State (OTNS) featuring returning guest Nathan Schneider, who joins The Blockchain Socialist and Primavera de Filippi, to discuss his experience at ETH Denver and the limitations of using tech venture capital as a model for governance. In this episode, they explore new political possibilities and the importance of being intentional in the approach. They dive deep into the issues surrounding the use of venture capital as a governance model and the potential drawbacks that come with it. As part of our ongoing collaboration with The Blockchain Socialist, OTNS aims to critique The Network State by Balaji Srinivasan while highlighting the more significant concepts surrounding how these technologies could subvert state structures. Make sure to tune in for this insightful discussion with Nathan Schneider and stay tuned for more episodes of OTNS. You can find the previous episodes and additional content on The Blockchain Socialist website. [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: Colonize the Memes, the Narratives, and the LandOverthrowing The Network State: Colonize the Memes, the Narratives, and the LandMarch 7, 2023Overthrowing The Network State: Colonize the Memes, the Narratives, and the Land Check out the latest episode of Overthrowing the Network State (OTNS)! In this episode, Primavera de Filippi and Morshed Mannan joined The Blockchain Socialist to speak with Raymond Craib, a historian of modern Latin America and author of Adventure Capitalism: A History of Libertarian Exit, from the Era of Decolonization to the Digital Age. They delve into the neocolonialism inherent in network states, previous attempts at utopian libertarian exits, the colonization of history, and the concept of Praxis Society. You can listen to the podcast on the player below, and find all the other episodes on The Blockchain Socialist Website! [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: Untangling Balaji’s Helical Theory of HistoryOverthrowing The Network State: Untangling Balaji’s Helical Theory of HistoryFebruary 28, 2023Overthrowing The Network State: Untangling Balaji’s Helical Theory of History Be sure not to miss the latest Overthrowing the Network State (OTNS) episode! Technology historian Quinn DuPont joins the Blockchain Socialist and Keslie Nabben to discuss his recent critiques of TNS at the Commons Stack Unconference and his article on A Progressive Web3. Together, they delve into Balaji’s misinterpretations of history and suggest the commons as an alternative framework to what is already occurring in certain aspects of web3. Check out this episode, along with previous ones, by clicking here! [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: Survival of the Richest with Douglas RushkoffOverthrowing The Network State: Survival of the Richest with Douglas RushkoffFebruary 13, 2023The third Episode of “Overthrowing the Network State” with Douglas Rushkoff has been published! We are excited to announce that the third episode of the “Overthrowing the Network State” podcast series is out now! In this episode, Primavera De Filippi and The Blockchain Socialist welcome Douglas Rushkoff, a renowned writer, and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. Rushkoff, named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT, joins the conversation to discuss “The Network State” by Balaji Srinivasan. Click here to listen to the podcast! Missed the previous episodes? No problem! You can find them all on The Blockchain Socialist website as well! [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: Forming New Publics and Pluralism with Glen WeylOverthrowing The Network State: Forming New Publics and Pluralism with Glen WeylFebruary 7, 2023Exploring Alternatives: The Second Episode of Overthrowing The Network State is Here! We’re thrilled to announce the release of the second episode of the podcast series “Overthrowing The Network State“. In this episode, Primavera de Filippi and The Blockchain Socialist welcome Glen Weyl, the founder of RadicalxChange and co-author of Vitalik Buterin’s article on Decentralized Society. In the first episode of #OTNS, they introduced Balaji Srinivasan’s book “The Network State” and shared our initial criticisms and alternatives. This time, they delve deeper into the oversimplifications in the book and explore Glen’s alternative vision for a networked society. If you haven’t already, check out the first episode of OTNS. Now, tune in to the second episode of ONTS and discover more about these topics! [...]
  • Overthrowing The Network State: An Initial Critique and AlternativesOverthrowing The Network State: An Initial Critique and AlternativesJanuary 29, 2023The first episode podcast series “Overthrowing The Network State” has finally been released. Hosted by The Blockchain Socialist and Primavera de Filippi, this series takes a deep dive into the world of Balaji Srinivasan’s latest book, “Overthrowing The Network State“. In this first episode, Primavera and The Blockchain Socialist provide a quick overview of Balaji Srinivasan and some of his book’s key concepts while sharing their initial objections and criticisms. This podcast series aims not just to offer critique but also to provide a distinct conceptual framework for understanding why some readers might find the book appealing. Listen to the first episode of « Overthrowing The Network State » by clicking here! [...]
  • Report on blockchain technology & legitimacyReport on blockchain technology & legitimacyDecember 13, 2022Report on blockchain technology & legitimacy Dr. Primavera De Filippi, Dr. Morshed Mannan, Jack Henderson, Tara Merk, Sofia Cossar, Kelsie Nabben This report synthesizes the insights explored within the ERC BlockchainGov reading group on “Legitimacy in Blockchain,” taking place bi-weekly from July 2021 until June 2022. The report investigates the role of legitimacy in blockchain systems from descriptive, conceptual, and normative perspectives. It summarizes the discussions and provides recommendations concerning the role of legitimacy in blockchain systems drawing from the talks held by the reading group. The organizers of the reading group are part of several initiatives, including a five-year-long (2021-2026), EU-funded (ERC grant of €2M) on ‘Blockchain Gov’ at the CNRS (France)/EUI (Italy), a Future Fellowship project funded by the Australian Research Council on ‘Cooperation through Code’ at RMIT (Australia) and the Coalition of Automated Legal Applications (COALA). The “Legitimacy in Blockchain” report is one of a series that includes the “Blockchain Technology, Trust, and Confidence” report (De Filippi et al., 2022) and “Blockchain Technology & Polycentric Governance” report (De Filippi et al., forthcoming). RSC_REPORT_08_12_2Download [...]
  • Blockchain Technology, Trust & ConfidenceBlockchain Technology, Trust & ConfidenceDecember 13, 2022Primavera de Filippi, Morshed Mannan, Wessel Reijers, Paula Berman, Jack Henderson Reinterpreting Trust in a Trustless system?   ABSTRACT This report provides an in-depth analysis of the theoretical foundations of the concepts of trust and confidence and their correlation to the notions of risk, agency and legitimacy. These theoretical underpinnings are thereafter applied to permissionless blockchains, in order to identify how the foundational nature of the technology lends itself to bridging traditional paradigms in generating greater trust and confidence amongst users. We first review the literature which distinguishes the concept of trustfrom confidence before turning to major scholarly contributions on interpersonal trust, system trust and trust in technology. This literature has been examined through the lens of a multi-disciplinary readinggroup, which subsequently brings to bear practical and philosophical considerations in the use of blockchain technology in the modern world. The report concludes by providing the key areas in which trust can be reinforced, identifies the limitations of traditional factors as a measure for building trust with a decentralised and pseudonymous environment and clearly defines the differing levels of trust and confidence which are required within an on-chain and off-chain governance structure and its nexus to engendering legitimacy. HIIG_DP_2022-3_DE-FILIPPI-etal-1Download     [...]
  • The first issue of the Blockchaingov Newsletter is out!The first issue of the Blockchaingov Newsletter is out!August 14, 2022We are excited to announce that the 1 st issue of the newsletter is out!Check this out if you’re interested in our recent research in the field of blockchain! Newly published papers, events, conferences and so much more! We believe in the power of #community and that knowledge should be shared and multiplied. This newsletter aims to provide updates on the projects, conferences, and events that our team members take part in. We are excited to share this first newsletter issue that we plan to publish each month. We are open to collaborations, and feedback and we are also hiring! Hope you like the material we prepared for you! Click here to read the first issue of the Blockchaingov news!  You can click on the button bellow to subscribe to the newsletter! Subscribe to BlockchainGov News! Facebook Twitter LinkedIn [...]
  • New Academic Papers Alert!New Academic Papers Alert!August 6, 2022New Academic Papers Alert ! De Filippi, P, Mannan, M. presentation of “The BlockchainGov Report on Trust and Confidence in Blockchain Technology”, in the framework of the EUI Tech Cluster research seminar series. European University Institute. 18 May 2022. Florence. Italy     Our team is involved in a variety of research projects, focus groups and initiatives that aim to explore challenges of the blockchain technology. Here are some of the recently published selected papers authored by our members, advisors and affiliates:   1. De Filippi, P., Poux, P., Deffains, B. (2022) “MEV ou la tragédie des blockchains en tant que communs, in Terminal. (forthcoming) 2. Rennie, E., Zargham, M., Tan, J., Miller, L., Abbott, J., Nabben, K., De Filippi, P. (2022) “Towards a participatory digital ethnography of blockchain governance.” 3. Reijers, W., Orgad, L., De Filippi, P. (2022) “The Rise of Cybernetic Citizenship” in Citizenship Studies, Special Issue on “Digital Citizenship in the Post-Pandemic Urban Realm. 4. De Filippi, P., Mannan, M., Reijers, W. (2022) “The Alegality of Blockchain Technology”, in Policy & Society, special issue: “The Policy Dilemmas of Blockchain”. 5. De Filippi, P., Leiter, A. (2021) “Blockchain in Outer Space” in American Journal of International Law (AJIL) Unbound, special issue: “The Global Governance Implications of Blockchain”   [...]
  • Lessons Bangladesh can learn from others about blockchain regulationLessons Bangladesh can learn from others about blockchain regulationNovember 15, 2021De Filippi, P., Mannan, M. (2021) “Lessons Bangladesh can learn from others about blockchain regulation” in Whiteboard Magazine. 16 June 2021. Read the Article [...]
  • Let Users Own the Tech Companies They Help BuildLet Users Own the Tech Companies They Help BuildNovember 15, 2021Schneider, N., Mannan, M. (2021) “Let Users Own the Tech Companies They Help Build”, in WIRED Magazine. 19 June 2021. The law might even make “exit to community” the price of success, such as by expecting large social media companies to have user representatives on their boards, with or without transferring equity.PHOTOGRAPH: ANDRIY ONUFRIYENKO/GETTY IMAGES Read the Article [...]
  • Could Blockchain end Big Tech?Could Blockchain end Big Tech?November 15, 2021Reijers, W., Mannan, M. (2021) “Could Blockchain end Big Tech?”, in IAI.TV. 25 October 2021. Read the Article Blockchain is both a cure and a new poison [...]

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