Resource Distribution and Power Dynamics in Decentralized Networks

“The idealized vision of more decentralized forms of networking and social coordination triggered by the invention of Bitcoin continues to inspire entrepreneurs and drive innovation. At the same time, it is increasingly acknowledged within the broader crypto community that though the idealists are onto something, these emerging social systems are far from immune to problems and inequalities that have plagued human institutions historically.

This raises a question: how to conceptualize decentralized networks and “decentralized autonomous organizations” (DAOs) in terms of resource distribution and power dynamics, and by extension, governance? One option is to think of these systems as fields, allowing us to use the well-established framework this term has in sociology.“