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See detailAgent-based Model of Initial Token Allocations: Evaluating Wealth Concentration in Fair Launches
Delgado Fernandez, Joaquin UL; Barbereau, Tom Josua UL; Papageorgiou, Orestis UL

E-print/Working paper (2022)

With advancements in distributed ledger technologies and smart contracts, tokenized voting rights gained prominence within Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Voting rights tokens (aka. governance tokens) are ... [more ▼]

With advancements in distributed ledger technologies and smart contracts, tokenized voting rights gained prominence within Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Voting rights tokens (aka. governance tokens) are fungible tokens that grant individual holders the right to vote upon the fate of a project. The motivation behind these tokens is to achieve decentral control. Because the initial allocations of these tokens is often un-democratic, the DeFi project Yearn Finance experimented with a fair launch allocation where no tokens are pre-mined and all participants have an equal opportunity to receive them. Regardless, research on voting rights tokens highlights the formation of oligarchies over time. The hypothesis is that the tokens' tradability is the cause of concentration. To examine this proposition, this paper uses an Agent-based Model to simulate and analyze the concentration of voting rights tokens post fair launch under different trading modalities. It serves to examine three distinct token allocation scenarios considered as fair. The results show that regardless of the allocation, concentration persistently occurs. It confirms the hypothesis that the disease is endogenous: the cause of concentration is the tokens tradablility. The findings inform theoretical understandings and practical implications for on-chain governance mediated by tokens. [less ▲]

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See detailDeFi, Not So Decentralized: The Measured Distribution of Voting Rights
Barbereau, Tom Josua UL; Smethurst, Reilly UL; Papageorgiou, Orestis UL et al

in Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2022 (2022, January)

Bitcoin and Ethereum are frequently promoted as decentralized, but developers and academics question their actual decentralization. This motivates further experiments with public permissionless ... [more ▼]

Bitcoin and Ethereum are frequently promoted as decentralized, but developers and academics question their actual decentralization. This motivates further experiments with public permissionless blockchains to achieve decentralization along technical, economic, and political lines. The distribution of tokenized voting rights aims for political decentralization. Tokenized voting rights achieved notoriety within the nascent field of decentralized finance (DeFi) in 2020. As an alternative to centralized crypto-asset exchanges and lending platforms (owned by companies like Coinbase and Celsius), DeFi developers typically create non-custodial projects that are not majority-owned or managed by legal entities. Holders of tokenized voting rights can instead govern DeFi projects. To scrutinize DeFi’s distributed governance strategies, we conducted a multiple-case study of non-custodial, Ethereum-based DeFi projects: Uniswap, Maker, SushiSwap, Yearn Finance, and UMA. Our findings are novel and surprising: quantitative evaluations of DeFi’s distributed governance strategies reveal a failure to achieve political decentralization. [less ▲]

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See detailEnergy Efficiency of Blockchain Technologies
Papageorgiou, Orestis UL; Sedlmeir, Johannes; Fridgen, Gilbert UL et al

Report (2021)

The purpose of this thematic report is to present an updated view of the aspects related to the energy efficiency of blockchain technologies. The topic of energy consumption of blockchains and especially ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this thematic report is to present an updated view of the aspects related to the energy efficiency of blockchain technologies. The topic of energy consumption of blockchains and especially of the Bitcoin blockchain has recently triggered a lot of discussions and a debate has started on the topic of making Bitcoin a sustainable ecosystem. [less ▲]

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