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Understanding the Blockchain Economy

An Introduction to Institutional Cryptoeconomics

Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson and Jason Potts

Blockchains are the distributed ledger technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But blockchains can be used for more than the transfer of tokens – they are a significant new economic infrastructure. This book offers the first scholarly analysis of the economic nature of blockchains and the shape of the blockchain economy. By applying the institutional economics of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, this book shows how blockchains are poised to reshape the nature of firms, governments, markets, and civil society.
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Chapter 6: Supply chains and identity

Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson and Jason Potts


Distributed ledgers record and make available information through time. Unsurprisingly, their use for managing records of goods (and services) as they travel through supply chains has been the second most prominent application of distributed ledger technology after cryptocurrencies. This chapter details the economics of supply chain management on blockchains as the creation and accumulation of identity attributes in historical time. It first details how distributed ledger supply chain management reduces opportunism, and consequently where value is distributed on the chain. It then outlines an identity theory of supply chains, and relates that theory to the ledger-centric view of the economy.

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