Blockchain Technology as Economic Infrastructure: Revisiting the Electronic Markets Hypothesis

Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson, Jason Potts
2019 Frontiers in Blockchain  
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the electronic markets hypothesis offered a prediction about effect of information technology on industrial organization, and many business writers forecast significant changes to the shape and nature of the firm. However, these changes did not come to pass. This paper provides an economic analysis of why, using the transaction cost economic framework of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson. Non-hierarchical corporate organization struggled against contracting
more » ... oblems in the presence of possible opportunistic behavior. Technologies of trust offer an institutional mechanism that acts on the margin of trust, suppressing opportunism. The paper concludes that blockchain technology provides an economic infrastructure for the coordination of economic activity and the possible realization of the electronic markets hypothesis. . . . the arrival of any new infrastructural technology opens the future to speculation. It creates an intellectual clearing in which the imagination is free to play, unconstrained by old rules and experiences. (Carr, 2004) .
doi:10.3389/fbloc.2019.00022 fatcat:euqgb2o6qvbipau6gh3qbllnhi