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Blockchain Governance: De Facto (x)or Designed?

Abstract

Governance of blockchain technologies has not been historically prioritized beyond technological dimensions, and relatively little literature exists on the prescriptive governance of blockchain platforms. Existing governance frameworks, such as IT governance, may not be suitable or easily applied to the novel context of blockchain; instead, the authors of this chapter argue it may be more appropriate to adopt a grounded approach to the development of governance theory for blockchains. Situating their discussion of blockchain governance within existing, external power structures—legal, political, economic, environmental, and social—the authors outline an internal governance framework for the blockchain system itself. Taking an inclusive, question-led approach, this internal governance framework aims to ensure that areas of risk are identified, and determine how conflict and crisis related to blockchain technology—and blockchain-enabled forms of organization and interactions—can be handled.

(x)or, also known as “exclusive or” is a logical operation that outputs “true” only when inputs differ (one is true, the other is false); (x)or emphasizes mutual exclusiveness in the sense of “A or B, but not A and B.” In the case at hand, there will be governance of the blockchain—if not designed, then de facto.

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Fig. 2.1
Fig. 2.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    Some examples of work that discuss blockchain governance prescriptively include DuPont (2019) and Hofman et al. (2019).

  2. 2.

    It’s not.

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Correspondence to Darra Hofman .

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Hofman, D., DuPont, Q., Walch, A., Beschastnikh, I. (2021). Blockchain Governance: De Facto (x)or Designed?. In: Lemieux, V.L., Feng, C. (eds) Building Decentralized Trust . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54414-0_2

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