General governance

    Intro lecture [slides]

Ethical Code: The Exit Principle – 6/3/17 – This article describes the tools of progress to be “choice and experimentation”. It is costly to leave today’s geographically large states, so citizens are not left with much choice, and institutional failures are locked in and difficult to overcome – whereas “startup societies” make exit and competition much more feasible – “One can simply vote with their feet.”  The article then lists some basic criteria of startup societies that would allow ease of exit, experimentation, and improvement. – 6 minute read

The Liechtenstein Model: Governance as a Service – 7/7/17 – A thorough and interesting investigation into the “Liechtenstein Model” of governance; that is, the model that recognizes that “self-determination of peoples has extremely beneficial socio-economic implications”, and thus promoting self-determination as a governance policy. In a similar (but more nuanced) vein to the preceding article, Liechtenstein’s constitution allows for ease of secession and impeachment – rendering the government competing to be the best option for its citizens. – 15 minute read

Governance 101 with Vlad Zamfir – 11/25/17 – Vlad defines governance terms, lays out his ideal governance framework, and explains Ethereum’s governance mechanisms at BeyondBlock Taipei 2017. – 35 minute audio


Governance in blockchain systems

DAOs, DACs, DAs and More: An Incomplete Terminology Guide – 5/6/14 – Defines and compares decentralized organizations, decentralized applications, and DAOs. – 18 minute rea

A DAC is a Sovereign Co-Op:  4/23/14 – Bitshare forum discussion regarding the proper definition of a DAC/DAO. – 6 minute read

A Grab Bag of Thoughts on ETC and Forks – 7/26/16 – A short reddit post by Vitalik reconciling his past statements about secession attempts and his current position on the ETH vs ETC hard fork. – 7 minute read

Code is Law? Not Quite Yet – 8/27/16 – “In this opinion piece, [the author] discusses smart contract development within the context of mathematics, arguing that establishing benchmarks like ‘code is law’ may place significant stresses on the smart contract concept.” – 8 minute read

The Present and Future of Blockchain Governance – 5/24/17 – The CEO of Third Key Solutions discusses the present and future of blockchain law; alternative dispute resolution; enforcement. – 24 minute audio

Who are the administrators of blockchains? – 10/19/17 – Tim Swanson discusses the nature of administering public blockchains; the legal standing of various participants in a blockchain network. – 30 minute read

Crypto-Governance and the Dangers of Faction – 10/26/17 – A lengthy essay on mistrust, compromise, and partisanship in crypto-governance. – 27 minute read

Code is Not Law – 11/13/17 – Presentation slides from Tim Swanson at the Berkeley Bitcoin Meetup. Corresponding video here. – ~80 minute presentation

Blockchain Governance: Programming Our Future – 11/27/17 – Fred Ehrsam presents an analogy between blockchains and evolving organisms; why we should prioritize governance; a survey of various existing governance mechanisms and future approaches. – 17 minute read

Bitcoin Network Shaken by Blockchain Fork – 12/3/13 – Vitalik post on the accidental Bitcoin fork and the out-of-band solution required to contain the damage of the fork. – 7 minute read

Understanding the DAO Attack – 6/25/2016 – Step-by-step account of what happened in the DAO hack and how the Ethereum community responded. – 10 minute read. 

Altcoins with significant focus on/discussion around governance:

Tezos whitepaper – 9/2/14 – Tezos is a “self-amending crypto-ledger”, allowing on-chain voting for protocol and governance updates. – 17 pages

Dash to Implement Decentralized Governance System – 11/6/15 – Dash uses a voting system where one Dash masternode = one vote; there’s a 1000 Dash security deposit to become a masternode. – 3 minute read

    Ethereum Core and Ethereum Classic for Dummies – 7/28/16 – 7 minute read

The DFINITY “Blockchain Nervous System” – 1/4/17 – Thorough look into the structure and reasoning behind DFINITY’s governance model; DFINITY allows for on-chain voting as well as retroactive changes to the blockchain. – 21 minute read

Aeternity whitepaper – 1/23/17 – The Aeternity protocol is governed by a futarchy variant (Section II-D) – 10 pages

Eximchain whitepaper – 11/9/17 – Eximchain uses a quadratic voting-based governance model (Section 7) – 14 pages

A Look at Decred’s Governance System – 11/21/17 – Decred’s governance model shifts the voting power and block reward scheme to favor stakeholders, as well as requesting input from end-users for development updates. – 4 minute read

Blockchain-based governance

Futarchy and prediction markets reference list – Comprehensive list of everything relevant to Robin Hanson’s futarchy, courtesy of Abram Demski.

Civic whitepaper – Civic is a blockchain identity verification systems which could potentially be used in one person = one vote governance models. – 18 pages

Radical Blockchain Experiments in Decentralized Governance – 11/23/16 – Short elaboration on Liberland, e-Estonia, and Bitnation, and their use of blockchain-based governance. – 6 minute read

Bitnation whitepaper – 4/17 – Bitnation attempts to provide opt-in governance services to users across the world; it implements a “liquid holacracy” governance model. – 42 pages

Gnosis whitepaper – 5/4/17 – Gnosis is a prediction market platform built on Ethereum; the team behind it is currently working on futarchy research. – 49 pages

User Generated Currencies & Decentralized Value – 8/11/17 – Talk by Galia Benartzi, CEO of Bancor – 23 minute audio

The Social Smart Contract – 9/1/17 – This is a project by the Democracy Earth Foundation, exploring how to build a decentralized “liquid democracy”. – 27 pages

The Network State – 9/15/17 – Balaji Srinivasan presents a picture of a utopian “Network State”, i.e. user-generated countries. – 32 minute audio

Alternative Voting

Towards Secure Quadratic Voting – 4/12/17 – “We [Sunoo Park and Ronald Rivest] provide an overview of some of the security issues involved in securely implementing Lalley and Weyl’s ‘Quadratic Voting’, and suggest some possible implementation architectures. Our proposals blend end-to-end verifiable voting methods with anonymous payments. We also consider new refund rules for quadratic voting, such as a ‘lottery’ method.” – 31 pagesRange Voting and Other Alternative Systems – Walk-through of range voting, approval voting, CTT voting and more.