CHAIN: Our Year in Review
Happy New Year!
The New Year is here and the CHAIN-team is ringing in the New Year with a quick look back at our first project year. In 2021 the CHAIN-team had an inspiring and eventful year during which we did not only focus on conducting extensive academic research but also on building a community and sharing our knowledge with a broad audience.
During the first project year, CHAIN was established. Our interdisciplinary team is comprised of academics from different disciplines, combining expertise from law (Jurgen Goossens and Charlotte van Oirsouw), philosophy of technology and STS (Esther Keymolen and Gert Meyers) and computer science (Bert-Jan Butijn and Damian Tamburri). Together, we are equipped to investigate how distributed technology (blockchain) combined with rule-based algorithms (smart contracts) affect rule of law values such as transparency, accountability, trust and legitimacy when governments decide to innovate with blockchain technology.
Blockchain in the network society
In 2021, the CHAIN-team has examined through extensive literature review and qualitative research how blockchain applications can be designed in a transparent and legitimate way, so that citizens can trust the government. Through our first case study ‘the Red Button’ of the CJIB which is focused on the use of blockchain by the government in the context of debt assistance CHAIN has investigated how transparency and accountability are operationalized in practice. The case study provides a rich source of data and offers important insights for further research.
Several articles and (chapters in) books have been published by CHAIN-team members during the first project year:
- Book: J. Goossens, K. Verslype & E. Tjong Tjin Tai, Blockchain en smart contracts: Herijking van de rol van de vertrouwde tussenpersoon in de algoritmische samenleving (Sdu, 2020);
- Book chapter: J. Goossens (2021), ‘Challenges and opportunities of blockchain and smart contracts for democracy in the distributed, algorithmic state’, in in O. Pollicino & G. De Gregorio (eds.), Blockchain and public law : global challenges in the era of decentralisation (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021);
- Blog: C. van Oirsouw (2021), ‘Innovating with Blockchain: Legal Questions and Challenges from the Perspective of Government’.
In 2022, CHAIN will continue to publish even more. A little sneak peek: in 2022 you can expect an article published in the international journal Regulation & Governance as well as in the Dutch journal Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Bestuursrecht.
Providing a platform and sharing knowledge
During the last year, CHAIN has provided a platform for interaction between academia, industry and governments to foster innovative developments. CHAIN organized meetings with its valorisation panel, hosted and attended masterclasses and gave multiple keynote speeches. The interaction with other researchers as well as with external stakeholders such as governments and companies was inspiring and contributed to our research.
CHAIN is, however, not only focused on bringing together professionals, but is also invested in sharing its knowledge with a broad audience by organizing workshops, publishing knowledge clips, a newsletter and giving accessible interviews. The CHAIN-team has been recognized for its efforts by the KNAW Pilot Fund and has been awarded € 10.000,-. On top of that, the CHAIN-team has received € 10.000,- from the Vfonds. The CHAIN-team will invest these funds in means of sharing more of its knowledge in 2022.
What to expect in 2022
CHAIN is looking forward to another inspiring year of researching and providing for a platform in order to empower partners and stakeholders to develop, implement and use blockchain applications in legally and socially acceptable way. Exciting things are coming, such as more publications, a documentary and our first public event. If you would like to stay updated on upcoming events and news & publications, subscribe to our newsletter!