We are thrilled to announce the fifth edition of the Blockchain Workshops, a multidisciplinary collaboration between leading academic institutions that convene a special group of stakeholders at the intersection of related disciplines to focus discussion on the high value application of blockchain technologies and implications for our global community, economic infrastructure, and evolving social order.
The purpose of the workshop and conference is to convene key stakeholders and decision makers to develop interoperable policy frameworks for blockchain technologies and identify actionable, real-world solutions for distributed global infrastructure.
If you are interested in presenting at the Sydney Conference for our international audience of diverse stakeholders, please submit a CV and extended abstract of 1000 words or more responsive to one or more of the topics listed below by October 30th using the contact form below.
Only abstracts directly addressing the application of blockchain technologies will be accepted.
Please see the topics below for which we are now accepting submissions.
Building upon Judge Easterbrook and Lessig’s famous exchange regarding the emergence of a new body of law for cyberspace (or not), how can and should society approach, shape and regulate new legal paradigms in the face of nascent technologies like the blockchain that have yet to manifest the full form of its potential? What is the risk of impeding innovation by regulating such a nascent technology without properly understanding its full social, legal and political ramifications? Are we depriving society of the emergence of the “unicorn” by applying the law of the “horse”?
Discuss the current state of the art of blockchain technologies, including emergent protocols such as Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum, public vs private blockchains, emerging consensus mechanisms (proof-of-work, proof-of-stake), blockchain scalability (light client applications, energy efficiency), alternative incentive structures for validating nodes, reliability vs availability, and more.
Part II: Identify and explore potential real-world applications of blockchains.
Identify and explore opportunities for blockchains to achieve real-time optimization, real-time efficiency and reduction of transaction and management costs for the the information economy. Discuss the potential de-monopolization of traditional measurements of economic value and how free information flows presents opportunities and challenges to traditional market structures and the necessity to create more dynamic forms of growth beyond traditional notions of “ownership” and “capital”. Identify and explore the creation and viability of competing value systems, economics and incentive structures. Describe how tokenization can produce currencies by choice.
What are the opportunities and challenges presented by machine-to-machine interactions and automated devices. Explore the applications of the blockchain for metered appliances (e.g. micropayments and pay-per-use), P2P and D2D transactions (e.g. capitalization of access and time allocation), etc. What are the implications for human autonomy and agency? Are we moving towards a more decentralized, bottom-up governance or centralized, top-down control?
Analyse the use of blockchain technologies for democratic and economic sustainability, including, inter alia: promoting long-term sustainability, building shared prosperity, new tools for open source democracy, participatory governance systems. human vs capital-centered design, technology for the commons, decentralized architecture and mesh networking, open data & democratized access. Discuss the implications of blockchain for identity, economic inclusion, and global human rights. Can blockchain technologies help bridge the digital divide? How can we address systemic inequality in access and infrastructure? Discuss the pros and cons of liberal paternalization vs community-centered policies.
Discuss and explore topics related to law, policy and regulation, including the relationship between surveillance and privacy, transparency and accountability, automation and autonomy, identity and trust, centralization and decentralization, empowerment and control, law enforcement goals, oversight for distributed networks, emergence of global information security and privacy security issues.
Discuss the state of the art of ZKPs, SNARKs, and their applications and implications for emergent classes of security issues, including information security and privacy security. Describe and explore how these technologies can, and perhaps must, enable trustless infrastructure for systems people can trust.
Analyse the recurrent opposition between the crypto-libertarian and commons-based approaches to blockchain technologies. Are trustless blockchain technologies inherently libertarian? Or can they also be applied to promote grassroots community and decentralized collaboration? Are we moving towards a more utopian or dystopian vision of society? What are the new principles that will govern the blockchain society? Are we heading towards “freenet” or “skynet”? Are we slowly moving towards a more decentralized society, or a more oppressive and totalitarian system?
Explore the implications of data-driven policies and algorithmic governance, ethical design and moral choice, trustless systems for trusted infrastructure, building and digitizing transactional and democratic frameworks. What are the implications of delegating decision-making to devices? Are we actually building more sophisticated and emancipatory tools, or are we becoming inadvertent subordinates of technology?
Imagine social, economic and government structures without intermediaries. Are we living in a dystopia or utopia? What kind of future holds for humanity? Are robots eventually going to augment, replace, or perhaps dominate the human race? Will humans evolve (or devolve) in parallel with technological advancement? Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?