Announcement: Academic Grants Round 2023

    Barriers and drivers of blockchain adoption in emerging markets: Large-scale text analysis and survey experiments among African regulators and citizens

    Authors: Eliza R Oak, Dr. Emmanuel Joel Aikins Abakah, & Mohammad Abdullah
    Affiliations: Yale, University of Ghana, & UniSZA, Malaysia

    To understand the factors that impede or promote blockchain adoption in Africa, this project aims to collect data using digital trace data, surveys, and interviews. Through scraping data from social media, news articles, and Google search trends, the project seeks to create a Blockchain Attitudes Adoption Index for all African countries, comparing it with measures of financial sector stability. The research will primarily focus on Ghana, collecting original data to assess the perceived benefits and risks of blockchain from the perspectives of individuals and regulators.

    Blockchain Censorship – Quantitative Analysis of Censorship on Public Blockchains

    Authors: Anton Wharstätter, Prof. Arthur Gervais, Liyi Zhou, Aviv Yaish, Kaihua Qin, Jens Ernstberger, Sebastian Steinhorst, Davor Svetinovic, Nicholas Christin, & Mikołaj Barczentewicz
    Affiliations: Technical University of Munich, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Hebrew University, Imperial College London, University College London, Carnegie Mellon University, & University of Surrey

    This research aims to analyze the implications of blockchain censorship. By formalizing, quantifying, and analyzing the security impact of blockchain censorship, the project seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of censorship on both the consensus layer and application layer. The research will examine the extent of censorship, historical transaction confirmation latency on Ethereum, and the overall impact on security.

    DAO Model Law

    Authors: Dr. Primavera De Filippi, Dr. Morshed Mannan, Silke Elrifai, Fatemah Fannizadeh, Constance Choi, Ori Shimony, & Rick Dudley
    Affiliation: COALA (Coalition of Legal Automated Applications)

    This project aims to enhance legal recognition and protections for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) by revising and updating the DAO Model Law v1.0. The objective is to address technological advancements and changes in governance norms over the past two years. The project also aims to provide necessary additions to support the implementation of the DAO Model Law in various global legal frameworks. The previous work has already influenced DAO legal frameworks in jurisdictions such as Utah and New Hampshire in the United States.

    Ethereum as microcredit for financial inclusion in a developing country: Assessing the drivers and barriers

    Authors: Dr. Shazim Khalid & Andrei O.J. Kwok
    Affiliation: Monash University

    This research focuses on understanding the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of using Ethereum as a microcredit system in developing countries, specifically Kenya. The project will conduct interviews with key stakeholders to assess user perceptions of Ethereum’s reliability and efficacy. The study aims to provide insights to policymakers, financial institutions, and developers to improve blockchain-based microcredit systems. The goal is to better meet the needs of users in regions that lack access to traditional financial services.

    Ethereum Development Unraveled: A Blockchain of Communication

    Authors: Dr. Silvia Bartolucci, Dr. Giuseppi Destefanis, Dr. Rumanya Neykova, & Dr. Marco Urtu
    Affiliations: University College London, Brunel University London, & University of Cagliari

    This research proposes an in-depth analysis of the Ethereum ecosystem to assess its security, risks, and robustness. By leveraging network theory and sentiment analysis, the study aims to understand the dynamics within the Ethereum developer community and the complexity of key open-source projects. The research aims to predict potential internal conflicts and their impact, as well as develop a user-friendly digital toolkit for enhanced transparency and understanding of Ethereum’s open-source projects and development practices.

    Ethereum Postdoctoral Scholar (Legal)

    Author: Reuben Youngblom
    Affiliation: MIT DCI

    This project establishes a postdoctoral research position at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative to bridge the gap between legal and technical understanding in the context of digital currencies. The position will offer technical exposure and guidance to recent law graduates, equipping them with a deeper comprehension of the technical nuances in the digital currency landscape. The goal is to support better regulation and legal practice in the field.

    Forking the Economy: An Ethnography of Crypto

    Author: Annaliese Milano
    Affiliation: London School of Economics

    This project aims to conduct an ethnographic study of the Ethereum community and its relationship with the Bitcoin community. By leveraging two years of empirical research, the project seeks to enhance understanding of the social layer of cryptocurrency for better protocol development. The goal is to rectify misconceptions about cryptocurrency communities and their objectives.

    Governance archaeology for decentralized communities

    Authors: Prof. Nathan Schneider & Prof. Federica Carugati
    Affiliation: University of Colorado, Boulder

    This project, known as Governance Archaeology, aims to establish a comprehensive global resource of historical governance practices for decentralized communities. By expanding an existing database and analyzing emergent patterns, the project aims to facilitate collective governance and institutional learning. The resource will be made publicly accessible and editable as an open-source tool, with a workshop organized for the Web3 community for optimizing its use.

    Legally credible neutrality of Ethereum

    Author: Mikołaj Barczentewicz
    Affiliation: Independent

    This project aims to explore the legal implications and potential liabilities of network participants, such as validators, in preserving Ethereum’s public, permissionless network status. The research will address possible legal risks and inform protocol design and development to protect Ethereum’s structure and operations.

    Merging Eastern Cultures to Complete the Missing Puzzle of DAO Socialware

    Authors: Sujin Keen, twinfin, & Sunghooon Jin
    Affiliation: DAOeast Movement

    This research project, DAOeast, aims to bridge the gap between technology and community trust in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). By examining ‘socialware’ through the lens of East Asian philosophy, the study seeks to foster trusted communities through reciprocal non-contractual relationships. The aim is to create a diachronic understanding of socialware, combining Western and Eastern philosophies, for better DAO development.

    Open-Source Software Development and Community Dynamics: Historical Insights and Ethereum Implications

    Authors: Dr. Mariia Petryk & Dr. Jiasun Li
    Affiliation: Independent

    This project aims to provide deeper insights into Ethereum’s open-source ecosystem by applying data-driven analysis techniques. Building on existing expertise in open-source software research, the project plans to test various hypotheses and uncover patterns relevant to Ethereum. The goal is to provide guidance that can steer the long-term development of the Ethereum ecosystem.

    The Social Layer: An Ethnography of Ethereum Development

    Authors: Ann Brody & Dr. Paul Dylan-Ennis
    Affiliation: Independent

    This project aims to conduct an ethnographic study focused on Ethereum client developers involved in the Shanghai hard fork. By exploring developers’ perspectives and their navigation of community expectations, the project seeks to understand how core Ethereum developers build trust with the broader community and manage transparency throughout the development process. The insights gained will contribute to the development of Ethereum.

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