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Blockchain Innovation and Public Policy

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

Guest Editors:
Professor Jason Potts, RMIT University
Professor Sinclair Davidson, RMIT University
Dr Chris Berg, RMIT University

This Special Issue Call for Papers seeks to contribute to the study of entrepreneurship in relation to blockchain technology and innovation and the interaction with public policy.

Blockchain technology is shaping up as one of the most disruptive new technologies of the 21st century, facilitating an entirely new decentralised architecture of economic organization (Davidson et al 2018). While still experimental, it is disrupting industry after industry, beginning with money, banking and payments, and inevitably moving through finance, logistics, health, and across the digital economy. These waves of innovation are being driven by both new entrepreneurial startups (since 2017 funded through initial coin offerings) as well as by industry dominant firms reimagining and rebuilding their business models and services to use blockchain technology (e.g. in banking).

A key challenge for entrepreneurs, whether in start-ups or in large incumbent firms, is policy uncertainty in relation to this radical new technology. Blockchain technology facilitates an entirely new architecture for money and payments, for establishing ownership and storing value, for making contracts and recording data and facts. This means that regulatory frameworks, tax models and economic policy settings are not designed for this technology. Indeed, part of what makes this technology valuable is the extent to which it bypasses existing government services and infrastructure (e.g. money).     

The aims of this Special issue are aligned to scholarship and analysis that seeks to better understand the nature of entrepreneurship in relation to the development and innovation of this new technology and the way in which that interacts with current public policy settings. The special issue will seek to explore particular problem domains where public policy is failing or succeeding in this context, and also to explore new frameworks for public policy that are conducive to entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Interested authors might want to explore particular industries, applications or case studies from a game theoretic, market process, new institutional or evolutionary economic perspective. A policy focus is invited with respect to problems of taxation and public finance, economic regulation (especially public choice perspectives (Thierer 2016), and comparative institutional analysis (Djankov et al 2003, Potts and Davidson 2016). 

Research Questions may include but are not limited to:

•    Applications of institutional cryptoeconomics to public policy settings
•    Case studies of policy successes or failures in blockchain innovation
•    Global and strategic policy opportunities and problems
•    Blockchain and property rights: role of government
•    Regulatory uncertainty and constraints on entrepreneurship
•    Innovation commons and market discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities in blockchain innovation
•    Blockchains and the organizational structure of the firm
•    Distributed autonomous organisations and decentralised organisations as a form of entrepreneurial activity
•    The interface between existing tax and regulation frameworks and blockchain applications and implementations

Submission Guidelines: We invite theoretical and empirical papers for this special issue. All submissions are subject to the standard double-blind review process. Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not concurrently under review for publication at another outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for the journal. Submission must be made online at : Submissions should be prepared according to the Manuscript Guidelines found at

When submitting your manuscript, please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process. Reviews, drafts and outcomes will be conducted through early to mid-2019, with publication for those accepted expected to be late 2019.

The Submission Deadline for this special issue is February 1, 2019.

Initial queries can be directed towards any of the guest editors on the following email addresses:

Professor Jason Potts
Professor Sinclair Davidson
Dr Chris Berg

Guest Editorial Team
Professor Jason Potts is Director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub at RMIT University. He is an evolutionary economists specialising in economics of institutions, and economics of innovation and new technologies. He also works on economic of creative industries and economics of cities. He is an editor of the Journal of Institutional Economics.

Professor Sinclair Davidson is Professor of Institutional Economics at RMIT and a Fellow at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub. He specialises in applied economics, New Institutional Economics, and economics of public policy.

Dr Chris Berg is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University and a Fellow at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub. He is an economist and historian specialising in institutional choice, economic history, and civil liberties. He is also an experienced public policy analyst and political commentator.

Selected References

Goldenfein, J., Potts, J. Rennie, E. (2018) ‘Blockchains and the Cryptocity’ Information Technology (forthcoming)
Davidson, S., de Filippi, P., Potts, J. (2018) ‘Blockchains and the economics institutions of capitalism’ Journal of Institutional Economics, (forthcoming)
Potts, J. Davidson, S. (2016) ‘Social costs and the institutions of innovation policy’, Economic Affairs, 36(3): 282-93.
Potts, J. (2016) ‘Innovation policy in a global economy’ Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy 5(3): 308-24.
Davidson, S., Potts, J. (2016) ‘A New Institutional Approach to innovation policy’ Australian Economic Review (Policy Forum: Research and Innovation) 49(2): 200–7.
Djankov, S., Glaeser, E., La Porta, R., Lopez de Silanes, F., Shleifer, A. (2003) ‘The new comparative economics’ Journal of Comparative Economics 31(4): 595-616.
Thierer, A. (2016) Permissionless Innovation. Mercatus Centre, Arlington, VA.