By Darcy Allen

The blockchain world is currently obsessed with defi. In the past few months, billions in digital value have been staked, swapped and farmed in radical experiments using liquidity pools, automatic market makers and decentralised exchanges.

Image for post
Image for post
Who else is excited about the future of the financial system? (Flickr Creative Commons | Zeyus Media)

Defi is easily belittled as a collection of scam-riddled projects powered by magic internet money. Perhaps. But more optimistically defi is a spectacle of entrepreneurial discovery.

These wildly fresh experiments are the infrastructure of a distributed digital economy. This infrastructure is being built right now, from scratch, by a bunch of internet entrepreneurs buying, selling and farming digital vegetables.

Defi as a discovery process

In the past…


By the team at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub

The financial sector exists solely to smooth economic activity and trade. It is the network of organisations, markets, rules, and services that move capital around the global economy so it can be deployed to the most profitable use.

It has evolved as modern capitalism has evolved, spreading with the development of property rights and open markets. It has grown as firms and trade networks became globalised, and supercharged as the global economy became digitised.

Decentralised finance (defi) is trying to do all that.


By Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson and Jason Potts

Image for post
Image for post

Since 2017 we (along with our colleague Joe Clark) have been working with Agoric, an innovative and exciting smart contract team, who are about to launch a token economy model we helped design.

At the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub we’ve long been thinking about how blockchain can drive markets deeper into firms, resolving the electronic markets hypothesis and giving us new opportunities for outsourcing corporate vertical integration.

What we’ve discovered from working with the Agoric team is the possibilities of driving markets down into machines. Mark Miller’s groundbreaking work with Eric…


By Chris Berg and Jason Potts

Let’s take a birds’ eye view of the Australian economy. What do we produce? In order: iron ore, coal, and credentials.

Tertiary education is Australia’s third-largest export industry. And Australia is the third-largest education exporter in the world, behind the US and UK.

The world’s skilled labour markets are dependent upon proof of identity, experience and skills, including education qualifications, trade certification and occupational licensing. The smooth operation of these markets relies on the technical infrastructure that supports those credentials: a continually updated, reliable, trusted and efficient public registry of qualifications and skills.

We…


By Darcy WE Allen, Chris Berg, and Aaron M Lane

The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to make deregulation and cutting red tape the centrepiece of the COVID-19 economic recovery.

This focus is not just welcome, but essential. Entrepreneurs need room to experiment with new business models without being held back by unnecessary rules — as we argue in our recent book Unfreeze: How to Create a High Growth Economy After the Pandemic.

But at the same time, developed world governments have spent at least three decades trying to cut burdensome red tape — with little obvious to show…


By Chris Berg

Everybody, whatever side of politics they are on, generally agrees that the media is one of the reasons that politics is so polarised right now.

Agreeing on why the media has driven this is a little harder. Yes, the newspaper and print industry has been disrupted, thanks to the internet. And yes, it seems like newspapers are more desperate for readers.

But underlying these surface level observations is the fact that newspapers are undergoing a fundamental structural shift between two organisational types — from platforms to factories.

Image for post
Image for post
Flickr Creative Commons | mstempics

Let’s call what’s happened to the newspaper industry multi-sided market…


By Darcy WE Allen, Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson, Aaron M Lane, and Jason Potts

The global policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been extraordinary. We’ve seen a massive increase in government spending and social welfare programs, heavy handed policing, and some less remarked on crisis deregulation.

But the long run effect of the pandemic will be even more substantial. COVID-19 is driving far deeper, and profound, changes in the economy.

Image for post
Image for post
Flickr Creative Commons | Luca Florio

Some of these changes we can start to see already, but their full implications are still murky and distant. Nonetheless, as we argue in our book Unfreeze: How to…


By Aaron Lane and Lisanne Adam. In the past decade, a range of civil and criminal cases have come before the courts around the world where cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been used as payment to traffic drugs, weapons, and solicit other illegal goods and services (as extreme as murder for hire). This post provides the latest breakdown of the Australian cases, updating our presentation at the 2019 Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference.

“Bitcoin doesn’t commit crime, people do.”

The truth or otherwise of this sentiment — adapted from the NRA slogan — is one that moral…


Jason Potts is Professor of Economics and Co-Director of Blockchain Innovation Hub, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Notes from a talk given to Start-up Societies Foundation, Virtual Summit 1–2 May, 2020. https://www.startupsocieties.org/virtualsummit

Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. We really are a distributed digital community. These types of web conferences are proof of how new ways of living and working and creating knowledge are possible when we have the right tools and infrastructure — both physical and organisational — to come together and build things. We’ve had this technology for a while now, but we needed a push…


Darcy WE Allen, Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson, Aaron M Lane, and Jason Potts are with the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub.

The Australian government, like many governments around the world, wants to freeze the economy while it tackles the coronavirus pandemic. This is what the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper payments and bailout packages are supposed to do: hold workers in place and keep employment relationships together until mandatory social distancing ends.

Easier said than done. We are in completely uncharted territory. We’ve never tried to freeze an economy before, let alone tried to thaw it out a few weeks or months later. …

Cryptoeconomics

Posts by Darcy WE Allen, Chris Berg, Sinclair Davidson, Aaron Lane, Jason Potts and others

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store