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Egalitarian Society or Benevolent Dictatorship: The State of Cryptocurrency Governance

Azouvi, S; Maller, M; Meiklejohn, S; (2018) Egalitarian Society or Benevolent Dictatorship: The State of Cryptocurrency Governance. In: Zohar, A and Eyal, I and Teague, V and Clark, J and Bracciali, A and Pintore, F and Sala, M, (eds.) Financial Cryptography and Data Security: FC 2018 International Workshops, BITCOIN, VOTING, and WTSC, Nieuwpoort, Curaçao, March 2, 2018, Revised Selected Papers. (pp. pp. 127-143). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper we initiate a quantitative study of the decentralization of the governance structures of Bitcoin and Ethereum. In particular, we scraped the open-source repositories associated with their respective codebases and improvement proposals to find the number of people contributing to the code itself and to the overall discussion. We then present different metrics to quantify decentralization, both in each of the cryptocurrencies and, for comparison, in two popular open-source programming languages: Clojure and Rust. We find that for both cryptocurrencies and programming languages, there is usually a handful of people that accounts for most of the discussion. We also look into the effect of forks in Bitcoin and Ethereum, and find that there is little intersection between the communities of the original currencies and those of the forks.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Egalitarian Society or Benevolent Dictatorship: The State of Cryptocurrency Governance
Event: 22nd International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, March 2018, Nieuwport, Curaçao
ISBN-13: 9783662588192
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-58820-8_10
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-58820-8_10
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073112
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