Institutional cryptoeconomics is the application of the transaction cost economics of Ronald Coase, James Buchanan, Oliver Williamson, and Elinor Ostrom to blockchain technology. This chapter provides an introduction to the book. It introduces the origins and technology of distributed ledgers with the 2008 invention of Bitcoin by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, as well as the allied technologies (such as smart contracts) that form a key part of later analysis. It also provides a methodological observation about the analytic role of ‘high-trust economics’.
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