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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 8: Public policy in a blockchain era

Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson and Jason Potts


This chapter provides a framework to think about public policy choices in response to blockchain technology. It first introduces the idea of ‘crypto-friendly’ public policy as a set of policy dispositions around regulatory clarity and consistency and a permissionless innovation attitude to the risks posed by new technologies. The chapter explores the complex balance between regulatory certainty and the rapid need for regulatory change in response to new institutional innovation. It then presents these policy change dilemmas in an international context. Blockchains are available wherever the internet is available, and blockchain firms can locate themselves in the most crypto-friendly jurisdiction.

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