Wessel Reijers, Iris Wuisman, Morshed Mannan, Primavera De Filippi, Christopher Wray, Vienna Rae-Looi, Angela Cubillos Vélez & Liav Orgad
Topoi 40 (4):821-831 (2021)
AbstractThe invention of Bitcoin in 2008 as a new type of electronic cash has arguably been one of the most radical financial innovations in the last decade. Recently, developer communities of blockchain technologies have started to turn their attention towards the issue of governance. The features of blockchain governance raise questions as to tensions that might arise between a strictly “on-chain” governance system and possible applications of “off-chain” governance. In this paper, we approach these questions by reflecting on a long-running debate in legal philosophy regarding the construction of a positivist legal order. First, we argue that on-chain governance shows striking similarities with Kelsen’s notion of a positivist legal order, characterised by Schmitt as the machine that runs itself. Second, we illustrate some of the problems that emerged from the application of on-chain governance, with particular reference to a calamity in a blockchain-based system called the DAO. Third, we reflect on Schmitt’s argument that the coalescence of private interests is a vulnerability of positivist legal systems, and accordingly posit this as an inherent vulnerability of on-chain governance of existing blockchain-based systems.
Similar books and articles
The Blockchain as a Narrative Technology: Investigating the Social Ontology and Normative Configurations of Cryptocurrencies.Wessel Reijers & Mark Coeckelbergh - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology:1-28.
The Blockchain as a Narrative Technology: Investigating the Social Ontology and Normative Configurations of Cryptocurrencies.Wessel Reijers & Mark Coeckelbergh - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):103-130.
On the Philosophy of Bitcoin/Blockchain Technology: Is It a Chaotic, Complex System?Renato P. Dos Santos - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (5):620-633.
Shaping Sustainable Value Chains: Network Determinants of Supply Chain Governance Models.Clodia Vurro, Angeloantonio Russo & Francesco Perrini - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 90 (S4):607 - 621.
Blockchain Technology as an Institution of Property.Georgy Ishmaev - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (5):666-686.
Blockchain Identities: Notational Technologies for Control and Management of Abstracted Entities.Quinn Dupont - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (5):634-653.
Towards a Philosophy of Financial Technologies.Mark Coeckelbergh, Quinn DuPont & Wessel Reijers - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology:1-6.
Towards a Philosophy of Financial Technologies.Mark Coeckelbergh, Quinn DuPont & Wessel Reijers - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (1):9-14.
Beyond the Vertical? Using Value Chains and Governance as a Framework to Analyse Private Standards Initiatives in Agri-Food Chains.Anne Tallontire, Maggie Opondo, Valerie Nelson & Adrienne Martin - 2011 - Agriculture and Human Values 28 (3):427-441.
On Governance, Embedding and Marketing: Reflections on the Construction of Alternative Sustainable Food Networks. [REVIEW]Dirk Roep & Johannes S. C. Wiskerke - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (2):205-221.
Toward a Philosophy of Blockchain: A Symposium: Introduction.Melanie Swan & Primavera de Filippi - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (5):603-619.
Computing Ledgers and the Political Ontology of the Blockchain.Pablo R. Velasco - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (5):712-726.
Structure and Role of the Board of Directors According to the Company Law of Jordan: The Need for Revision.Bashar H. Malkawi - manuscript
Sustainable Supply Chains: Governance Mechanisms to Greening Suppliers. [REVIEW]Cristina Gimenez & Vicenta Sierra - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 116 (1):189-203.
Technology Regulation Policy for Business Ethics: An Example of RFID in Supply Chain Management. [REVIEW]Wei Zhou & Selwyn Piramuthu - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 116 (2):327-340.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty.Carl Schmitt & Tracy B. Strong - 2005 - University of Chicago Press.