Blockchain Ownership & Crypto Anticommons

Alpen Sheth, Chief Product Officer of Etherisc wrote this article about Blockchain Ownership & Crypto Anticommons.

Blockchain ownership

Blockchain ownership may be as important a problem as “Blockchain Governance”, He describes ideas and difficulty in making ownership rights, the future of blockchain patents and collective goods, and some important tradeoffs to consider when creating the new crypto property on blockchain. Blockchains are known for how they can make property superficially and make it “censor proof.” This gives unparalleled capacity to define rights clearly, enforce contracts predictably and let the market sort out entitlements.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are creating new property rights and restructuring old ones. He takes a quick look at a few concepts from property theory and why we should avoid a “tragedy of the anticommons” — too many fragmented rights — that could block significant innovation, increase inefficiency and inequality.

What are Anticommons?

Micheal Heller launched the concept in his contrarian article, “The Tragedy of the Anticommons”, Before 1989 Most valuable assets in socialist countries began the transition to markets with indistinct boundaries and overlapping ownership. While privatization broke up the socialist bundle of corporate governance rights, new owners held excessive rights of exclusion, such that each could prevent the others from restructuring corporate assets or even occupying retail storefront property.

Tragedy of the Commons,” is a crisis of overexploitation from undifferentiated property rights. Anticommons are basically the unintended consequences of trying to make new property rights more clear.

The reality of anticommons is more pervasive than we think, so much of blockchain technology emerged from the open-source and peer-to-peer movement but is rapidly being harvested as intellectual property in a corporate frenzy to control its future applications. Many innovations in “cryptollectual property” are open-source and accessible via license at no cost (e.g. via github) and have been used, reused, and forked to expand the innovation in new ways.

He also describe about Honore’11 Property rights and Patenting “Cryptollectual” Property Rights.

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