Discussion Papers 2019


"Blockchain Disables Real-World Governance"

Author Name

Matsushima, Hitoshi


May 2019

Full Paper

PDF file



This study indicates that the improper uses of a public blockchain disable real-world governance in organizations and marketplaces. By using any basic application of smart contracts, such as escrow transactions, along with a revelation mechanism outside the blockchain, individuals can execute illegal cartel acts in a self-enforcing and non-judicial manner. Cartel members can then implement collective deviations without help from trusted intermediaries or any requirements on reputation or word-of-honor. We show that a first price auction is vulnerable to cartel threats even if the seller can hide bidders’ prices because bidders take a countermeasure to hidden prices by using blockchain.