SCRF has been invited to host an independent research track as part of the 2021 Smart Contract Summit. We’ve chosen to present five panel discussions that touch on some of the most timely issues facing the blockchain space: “Identity and Reputation”, “Governance Theory”, “Governance Implementation”, “Privacy and SNARKS”, and “CBDCs and Blockchain”.
In this series of threads, we will be providing some deeper insight into the panel topics, the participants, and where interested viewers can find their most relevant works.
The Smart Contract Research Forum (SCRF) is where academics, researchers, and industry leaders from all over the world come together to discuss research, solicit thoughtful peer review, and find new projects on which to collaborate. You can find additional information about our programs, grants, and initiatives in our repo; or feel free to join us in our chat.
What are the challenges in decentralizing a hierarchical organization? This panel brings together a group of academics who explore collective decision-making related questions from different perspectives to discuss some of the theoretical aspects of governance.
Ellie is a Professor and ARC Future Fellow at RMIT University working across RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub, the Digital Ethnography Research Centre, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. Her current research is looking at capabilities arising from the use of blockchain technologies. Prior to commencing her Future Fellowship, Ellie’s research was focused on digital inclusion and how cultural norms influence privacy and safety online. She has also worked extensively with NGOs, community and Indigenous organisations on outcomes-based funding models and social innovation evaluation (including the Trust Alliance, a network of humanitarian organisations using blockchain-enabled verifiable credentials). She has published five books.
Some of Ellie’s work:
- Privacy and Emergency Payments in a Pandemic: How to Think about Privacy and a Central Bank Digital Currency. Ellie Rennie, Stacey Steele. Law, Technology and Humans Journal 2021.
- Community media: A global introduction. Ellie Rennie. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2006
- Measuring Australia’s digital divide: The Australian digital inclusion index 2017. Julian Thomas, Chris K Wilson, Jo Barraket, Julie Tucker, Ellie Rennie, Scott Ewing, Trent MacDonald
Relevant links for Ellie:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/elinorrennie
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellie-rennie-0597595
- Blog: https://ellierennie.medium.com/
- University Website: Professor Ellie Rennie - RMIT University
Josh is a mathematician and computer scientist @ Oxford, Stanford, and the Metagovernance Project.
Some of Josh’s work:
- Modular Politics: Towards a Governance Layer for Online Communities. Nathan Schneider, Primavera De Filippi, Seth Frey, Joshua Z. Tan, and Amy X. Zhang. (2021)
- The Declarations of Cyberspace: Outlining three essential narratives in the political history of the Internet. Primavera De Filippi, Juan Ortiz Freuler, and Joshua Tan. (2020)
- Indicator frameworks. Joshua Tan, Christine Kendrick, Abhishek Dubey, and Sokwoo Rhee (2017)
Relevant links for Josh:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/joshuaztan
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuaztan/
- Personal Website: https://www.joshuatan.com/
- University Website: Joshua Tan - Stanford PACS
Zargham is the founder of engineering research and design firm BlockScience, which specializes in estimation, decision, control and governance of social and economic infrastructures. He is affiliated with the Vienna University of Economics and Business in the Interdisciplinary Institute for Cryptoeconomics. He earned his PhD in Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 where he developed novel methods for decentralized dynamic resource allocation in networked systems.
Some of Zargham’s work:
- Foundations of Cryptoeconomic Systems. Shermin Voshmgir and Michael Zargham. (2020)
- Challenges and Approaches to Scaling the Global Commons. Felix Fritsch, Jeff Emmett, Emaline Friedman, Rok Kranjc, Sarah Manski, Michael Zargham, and Michel Bauwens. (2021)
- Complex Systems Modeling of Community Inclusion Currencies. Andrew Clark, Alexander Mihailov and Michael Zargham. (2021)
- Optimal resource allocation for network protection against spreading processes. Victor M Preciado, Michael Zargham, Chinwendu Enyioha, Ali Jadbabaie, George J Pappas. (2014)
Relevant links for Zargham:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/mZargham
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mczargham/
- Blog: https://michaelzargham.medium.com/
- Company Website: block.science
Quinn is an Assistant Professor in the School of Business at University College Dublin. He has a PhD in Information Science from University of Toronto and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Washington.
He is the author of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains (Polity), Associate Editor Frontiers in Blockchains, Education Chair IEEE Blockchain Initiative, Research Fellow at University College London’s Center for Blockchain Technologies, Founder and Editor in Chief Blockchain Research Network, Affiliate of The Future of Money Research Collaborative, Member of UCD’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Organisation (CITO), and Member of UCD’s Center for Digital Policy. Previously, he held visiting research positions at Leuphana University and the University of Victoria and was a Senior Information Specialist at IBM.
Some of Quinn’s work:
- Guiding Principles for Ethical Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and DLT Research. Quinn DuPont. (2020)
- From closed world discourse to digital utopianism: the changing face of responsible computing at Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (1981–1992). Megan Finn and Quinn DuPont. (2020)
- Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains. Quinn DuPont. (2019)
- The Cryptological Origins of Machine Translation, from al-Kindi to Weaver. Quinn DuPont. (2018)
- Cryptographic Media. Quinn DuPont. (2018)
Relevant links for Quinn
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/quinndupont
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iqdupont
- Personal Website: http://iqdupont.com/
- University Website: https://people.ucd.ie/quinn.dupont
- Book: Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains (Polity, 2019)
Some of the questions we’ll explore during the panel include:
- What does governance entail?
- There are definitions of DAO’s ranging from anything that uses smart contracts to coops that use blockchain to organizations that run without people. In your opinion, what is a DAO?
- How to avoid the mistakes of the past?
- Do you think DAOs that focus on non-financial incentives will fare better or worse than those focusing on financial incentives?
- Is standardization of governance models possible? Is it something we should be shooting for?
- Are plutocracies OK?
- What things need to be factored into decentralized governance in order to maximize the chance of building a successful community run system?
- What is “Designing for Resilience”?
- What challenges does anonymity pose for governance?
- Can we coordinate at scale?
- What is a reasonable amount of agency people are willing to take on?
The Summit is taking place virtually from August 5-7. You can find the most up-to-date schedule and get your free tickets here.