Peer Production on the Crypto Commons

Version 1.0

Toward a Commons Based Economy


This is the end, thanks for reading! Here are some things I would suggest as key takeaways:

  • The blockchain space is worth watching if you’re interested in commons-based or digitally native means of production.
  • We should all be interested in commons-based production, because phenomenal resources (e.g. Linux, Mozilla, Apache, Wikipedia, Stackoverflow) are being produced in this way (efficiently, at low cost) and being made freely available. Contrast this with the level of value extracted from resources like social networks, which are also “peer produced” in the sense that the valuable content comes from the users, but are far from “commons-based”.
  • Bitcoin and other public blockchains are pioneering early examples of robust networks/services being established on the commons, “owned” and operated by the peers (network nodes) in a decentralized manner with no centralized points of control and no off switch.
  • Commons-based peer production and common pool resources are useful lenses through which to observe the blockchain space - the paradigm is that blockchains are a revolution in how we use the digital commons and are shaking up the incentives for participating in commons-based peer production. How well the various constituencies involved in “producing” a blockchain are aligned, and the degree of friction in their interactions, will be significant factors in determining the course the project takes in the long run.
  • Look at how decisions are being made within these projects. If governance is decentralized and permissionless you should be able to find where it is happening and participate in that process.

If you read this all the way through I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer.


Richard Red

Last updated on 11 Sep 2019
Published on 11 Sep 2019
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