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Democratic Blockchain Design

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Democracy requires rules that are designed to prevent the abuse of power and money. Blockchain technology is sometimes heralded as a solution to mitigate the problems associated with voting procedures, such as counting errors, fraud, or the improper use of money to influence the outcome of the collective choice procedure. In this article, I argue that the democratic potential of the blockchain hinges on the specific design of the rules governing the validation of blocks. In support of this argument, I shed light on the governance problems raised by standard protocols such as proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, and on-chain voting. (JEL: K16, K24, D47, D72, D90)
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Keywords: behavioral law and economics; blockchain; constitutional law; cryptocurrency; democracy; market design

Appeared or available online: February 1, 2019

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