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Evolving governance via the blockchain

The goal of this project is to be the definitive resource for attempts to build 'distributed governance' systems that affect the future of sovereignty, including but not limited to blockchains. It was started via converstions with Vitalik in 2014 that lead to the first reputational system and governance related whitepapers, as well as the Decentralized Autonomous Society which met appoximately 36 times in 2015-2018 (


Most important works on blockchain

Most important works on crypto law

Most important works on swarm intellgence

Most important works on nomic

Most important works on holonics

Most important works on extended states of consciousness


Early history on smart contracts includes the definitions of Nick Szabo, then implementation called 'Bitcoin' which had a 'governance only where necessary model.' Ethereum iterated on various particulars, esp. by embedding a form of smart contracts into the virtual machine of their blockchain. They did not, however, make this binding for any on-going decision making. That said, they have used these techniques as a polling technique.

Since then several blockchains have attempted to implement governance as part of their core evolution mechanisms, including DASH, Tezos, and others. There was also a paper by Ralph Merkle on DAO Democracy (

Additionally they have followed diverse strategies regarding integration into the existing legal system. Partially due to the troubled history of early digital currencies (DigiCash, E-gold), the first generation of blockchains was built to be censorship resistant. As second generation blockchains have obtained legal scrutiny and attempted to integrate into legal systems they have at times questioned some of the design decisions behind the first generation (as per current debate between Nick Szabo and Vlad Zamfir).

The most recent version of this bibliography was created to inform this debate so that common terminology and historical references can be used as the space evolves.

Critical terminology

"Wet Code" - code that is interpreted by the mind (i.e. traditional legal systems)

"Smart Contract" - code that is interpreted by a computer and bound by a pre-defined rule set

"DAC" - Decentralized Autonomous Corporation, a term invented by Daniel Larimer in 2013 to define corporations that live on blockchains

"DAO" - Decentralized Autonomous Organization, a term invented by Vitalik Buterin to describe a more generic version of the DAC that can pursue whatever interests it decide (i.e. not a pure profit motive)

"DCO" - Decentralized Collaborative Organization, a term invented at the Harvard-MIT-Stanford summits by a team of scholars in order to render a DAO integratable into existing cooperative style law

"Network State" - a political configuration having the properties of a network.

A brief list of my own experiments


Definitions and bibliographies for governance and blockchains






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