Lab Papers

Three short papers that were originally submitted and presented at the DAO workshop at DIS 207 have been updated for publication and speculate upon the implication of DAOs for autonomous housing (Margariti and Onabolu), emerging routines of value (Nicolescu) and grading systems for universities (Rooksby and Dimitrov). Together the collection of articles provide unique parameters to understanding an epoch that changed how we think about models of governance, the production of value and trust. Whilst the value of Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and the other thousands of cryptocurrencies continue to recover from their losses in 2018, the repercussions of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper in 2008 and the subsequent launch of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2009 gave birth to a generation of new creative economists who are both data literate and keen to explore societies beyond western economic traditions.


Decentralized Autonomous Housing

Tolulope Onabolu, ESALA, University of Edinburgh

Eleni Margariti, Open Lab, Newcastle University

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) offer to disrupt all existing business models from derivatives trading to real estate, public services procurement and housing. This presents a unique opportunity for architects and urban designers to reshape the built environment by collectively engaging with finance generally, but also with alternative financial mechanisms, ahead of developers and investment companies who are less motivated by the quality of the built environment.


Emerging regimes of value in distributed autonomous systems

Razvan Nicolescu, University College London

This position article brings together perspectives from social sciences, computer science and economy to interrogate the emerging meanings of value produced by Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAO). We explore this process in the context of the wider political economy enabled by Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and Smart Contracts (SC). The article then questions the ways in which the current implementations of DAO reflect the various regimes of value and the emergent possibilities to rethink the social contract.


Trustless education? A blockchain system for university grades

John Rooksby, Northumbria University

Kristiyan Dimitrov, University of Glasgow

We have implemented a blockchain system based on Ethereum for use by a university to store student grades and to provide a cryptocurrency. Based upon an exploratory, qualitative evaluation we have found several tensions between the concept of a university as an organization and the concept of distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs) in Ethereum. These include tensions in (i) mechanisms of trust, (ii) boundaries of openness and (iii) values in procedures. In this article we outline our implementation and the evaluation process.