Last year I fell down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. I haven’t yet come up for air.
As a project manager, and being non-technical, I gravitated towards the philosophical and social aspects of blockchain technology.
I was fascinated by this new peer to peer technology and the potential for it to disrupt our everyday lives.
In Melbourne, I’m fortunate to have the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub nearby. Not only do they produce articles at an incredible rate, they are vocal in spreading the word.
In the words of Jason Potts, Sinclair Davidson and Primavera De Filippi in their 2016 article titled ‘Disrupting Governance,’ blockchains are more than just a new technology; “they are a new institutional technology of governance that competes with other economic institutions of capitalism, namely firms, markets, networks, and even governments.”
Up until now, economists could only explore some ideas in theory. With the advent of public blockchains, they can now see these theories put into practice. Engineers and entrepreneurs are taking old ideas and experimenting with new economies.
Being interested in how people work together, and how they make decisions collectively, I became very interested in the EOS.IO project early this year. There was a distinctive flavour of governance and game theory which made me curious.
EOS.IO software was written by Block.One, led by Dan Larimer, who developed BitShares, one of the first decentralised exchanges and Steem, a social network blockchain.
Blockchains are inherently slow and expensive to run. That is partly the cost of having no central authority. Larimer’s answer to this scaling problem is a consensus mechanism called Delegated Proof of Stake. Not to be confused with Proof of Stake, this algorithm involves token holders voting for block producers to secure the network.
The first blockchain to use EOS.IO software is EOS, which utilises a token by the same name. Since its launch in July, other chains have launched and many are due to launch, each with slightly different features and philosophies.
I became involved in the EOS community by volunteering on the Worker Proposal System project. There are systems like this that already exist on other networks, including DASH and BitShares. I was attracted to the idea of designing a system that enabled members of the community to propose projects and have them resourced through a common fund. Working on this project has made me acutely aware that knowing how people make decisions collectively is incredibly important.
On Thursday 6 December, I will be hosting a panel discussion on institutional cryptoeconomics and blockchain governance, featuring the team from the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub. The discussion will cover topics including the history of ledgers, rational ignorance, and will focus on governance for public blockchains.
Whether you’re crypto-curious or crypto-focussed, you’ll surely enjoy this discussion.
Chris Pollard is a community team member of EOSphere, an Australian-based block producer. Committed to EOSIO technology, EOSphere aims to enable community growth and EOSIO platform adoption through provision of foundational block producer services and initiatives. www.eosphere.io