In this post I argue why public policy-making is broken and propose a new model of how it could be fixed. To test these ideas in practice, I’ve started poli.cy.

What is public policy?

According to Wikipedia “public policy is the process by which governments translate their political vision into programmes and actions to deliver ‘outcomes — desired changes in the real world’”. The making of public policy “can be characterized as a dynamic, complex, and interactive system through which public problems are identified and resolved”.

Today, public policy-making is in a failed state in most Western countries. While politicians enviously look at the…


Join us at the Swiss Legal Tech Hackathon & Conference 2018

The upcoming Swiss Legal Tech 2018 aims to rethink, reshape and refresh the legal industry. It’s the second Swiss edition of a series of European legal tech events that are unique in the way they bring together legal practitioners, software developers and digital innovators. The Legal Tech Hackathon is our unique signature.

The Legal Tech Hackathon will kick off on September 17th. For two intense days, lawyers and hackers will join forces to create the next generation of legal tech products. …


Tokens were one of the first applications based on a blockchain infrastructure that pushed the technology beyond its original use as an accounting ledger for a public blockchain network’s base currency. Tokens are themselves units of account, used to keep track of who owns how much of some quantity other than the underlying ledger’s native crypto currency.

Tokens started as meta-information encoded in simple Bitcoin transactions, thereby taking advantage of the Bitcoin blockchain’s strong immutability. At a protocol layer, tokens were outsourced extensions to Bitcoin’s core protocol. Instead of being integrated as a feature on a software level, the first…


About the Author

Florian Glatz is a lawyer and software developer based in Berlin. At SatoshiPay he develops both software and legal solutions based on Blockchain technology. You can find out more about him at blockchain.lawyer.

Introduction

Much has been talked about Smart Contracts, the curious idea of machine-readable, auto-enforceable agreements between two or more parties. Originally conceived as a theoretical exercise by interdisciplinary legal scholar Nick Szabo in the early nineties, in an attempt to understand how legal contracts may be transposed into the digital age, they unexpectedly became a “real thing” with the advent of Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

However, until…


Why decentralized infrastructure has still a long way to go

Ripple Labs Inc, steward of the Ripple Protocol and manager of the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin, has quietly shelved the open source project Codius, which it had founded about a year ago and actively maintained ever since. Although the code was eventually versioned to a symbolic “1.0”, the project never gained much more than the curious attention of some hardcore enthusiasts.

Now, Stefan Thomas, CTO of Ripple Labs, has outlined the future of Codius in a recent blog post:

[…] we’ve realized that Codius is an optimization and — right now, with a small and nascent…


Abstract

Crypto Economics as a mixed human-machine system that is fueled by economic incentivisation mechanisms displays an interesting approach to an organizational problem, that is currently solved through a monolithic platform approach. The new model carries its own governance problems, when it comes to establishing a clear separation of concerns between the meaning and the processing of data. Economic incentives as a base line coordination mechanism within mixed human machine systems have their limits with regard to outside information. …


Taking technological change seriously in the social sciences.

F.G.

This article makes no specific claim about what the social sciences are and which disciplines do or do not fall under its name. The perspective I take is situated at the “intersection between information theory, cryptography, sociology, epistemology, politics and economics”[1].

What research has been conducted so far at this complex intersection of multi-layered systems that can tell us how to understand technology and technological change and how it relates to us as individuals and as a society?

The Political Economy Of Computing

One scholar whose exceptional work deserves highlighting is Janis Kallinikos. …


What has been dubbed the ‘Uber-for-X’ approach in the startup world, and the transformation to a on-demand service economy by scholars such as Harvard’s Yochai Benkler, turns out to be an interesting subject of study for economic organization theory. It is interesting to ask what modes of contractual governance occur in the relationships between the platform provider (“Uber”) and its don’t-call-them-employees (“partners”) as well as its customers.

Starting with Coase in 1937, a formal or semi-formal definition of the nature of the firm became the subject of scientific inquiry. Coase’ timeless contribution consists of two fundamental insights: the firm can…


In search of a consensus.

By Florian Glatz

The concept behind smart contracts is gaining traction among wider audiences and with it arises the need for a clear working definition. Currently, the excitement around smart contracts is only matched by the confusion surrounding the specific meaning of the term. Peter Todd, Bitcoin Core Developer, sums up the status quo quite concisely:

In this article I try to shed new light on the nature of smart contracts. My overarching goal is to make hidden assumptions explicit and to clarify some misconceptions around the mysterious phenomenon in relation to the legal system. However, this is really…

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