The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise the chief aspects of policy interest in blockchain technology.
The paper outlines policymaking processes in the context of innovation and technological change, assesses generic variations in policy treatment towards blockchain, and identifies manifestations of policy entrepreneurship using national case studies of blockchain policies.
Favourable policy dispositions towards blockchain technology are interpreted as political efforts to develop local, blockchain-enabled economies. So-called “crypto-friendly” jurisdictions proactively clarify regulatory and tax treatments of cryptocurrency and other blockchain applications, and trial blockchain uses in fields predominated by public sector activity. Policymakers in countries hostile towards blockchain-related activity have instigated bans or strict limitations with respect to blockchain engagement by developers and users.
Reliance upon case studies suggests the need for alternative study approaches (e.g. index construction, empirical research) as blockchain use consolidates throughout the global economy.
This paper provides insight to policymakers and blockchain practitioners regarding the attributes of accommodative policies towards distributed ledger technology.
Countries and sub-national regions exhibiting a more welcoming policy stance are more likely to attract entrepreneurs and investors in the crypto-economic blockchain space.
This paper develops a policy “crypto-friendliness” construct to assess the extent to which policymakers enact accommodative policies for blockchain development.
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