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it - Information Technology

Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

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Volume 59, Issue 6


Blockchains and the crypto city

Jason Potts
  • Corresponding author
  • RMIT University, School of Economics, Marketing and Finance, GPO Box 2467, , 3001 Melbourne Australia
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/ Ellie Rennie / Jake Goldenfein
Published Online: 2017-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2017-0006


Drawing on economic transaction cost theory, this paper explores how blockchain and distributed ledger technology could shift the smart city agenda by altering transaction costs with implications for the coordination of infrastructures and resources. Like the smart city the crypto city utilizes data informatics, but can be coordinated through distributed rather than centralized systems. The data infrastructure of the crypto city can enable civil society to run local public goods and services, and facilitate economic and social entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Blockchain; smart cities; open data; Internet of Things; distributed governance

ACM CCS: Social and professional topics→ Computing/technology policy→ Government technology policy→ Government regulations

About the article

Jason Potts

Jason Potts is Professor of Economics in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University, and Director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub, the first social science research institute on Blockchain in the world. In 2017, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia. Dr Potts specialises in economic growth, innovation and the economics of institutions, as well as the theory of economic evolution and complexity. His work has been applied to the economics of creative industries, intellectual property, and cities, and to the study of common pool resources. He received the Australian Research Council's Future Fellowship, and former winner of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Prize. He is currently associate editor of the Journal of Institutional Economics.

RMIT University, School of Economics, Marketing and Finance, GPO Box 2467, Melbourne, 3001, Australia

Ellie Rennie

Ellie Rennie is Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, affiliated with the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (Technology, Communications and Policy Lab), and the Blockchain Innovation Hub. She investigates digital inclusion and automation, with a focus on public policy. Her book publications include: Internet on the Outstation: The digital divide and remote Aboriginal communities (multi-authored with industry partners, Institute for Network Cultures, 2016), Life of SYN: A Story of the Digital Generation (Monash University Press, 2011); Community Media: A Global Introduction (Rowan & Littlefield, 2006). Her fourth book (co-authored with Aneta Podkalicka), Using Media for Social Innovation (Intellect), will be available in 2018.

RMIT University, School of Media and Communication, GPO Box 2467, Melbourne, 3001, Australia

Jake Goldenfein

Jake Goldenfein's research addresses the intersection of law and technology. He is currently exploring automation from a legal theoretical perspective, seeking to understand how the use of artificial intelligence and automated decision making affects processes of governance and the nature of law. He is also interested in distributed ledger technologies (blockchains) and smart contracts and the ways in which new forms of registry systems might affect the administration of intellectual property regimes, housing systems, and governance more broadly. Alongside this research, Dr Goldenfein is also commencing work on the relationship between virtual reality and law, exploring processes for re-calibrating and re-mapping law onto virtual and augmented modes of experience. Dr Goldenfein's recent publications have explored the potential for automation of privacy law, the history of law enforcement intelligence databases, the relationship of privacy to police photography, and computer surveillance in remote indigenous communities. He was admitted to practice as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2010, and is a board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation and the experimental arts organisation Liquid Architecture.

Swinburne University of Technology, Swinburne Law Faculty, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, 3122, Australia

Revised: 2017-10-18

Accepted: 2017-10-26

Received: 2017-05-30

Published Online: 2017-11-24

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 59, Issue 6, Pages 285–293, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2017-0006.

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