Cryptodemocratic Governance of Special Economic Zones

  • Darcy W.E. Allen RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub
  • Aaron M. Lane RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, RMIT Graduate School of Business and Law


An underappreciated challenge for special jurisdictions, both in their founding and their ongoing operation, are the mechanisms for making collective choices. Collective decisions must be made under uncertainty and between dynamic stakeholders. In this paper, we outline the potential applications of blockchain technology in special jurisdictions as new collective choice infrastructure. In a cryptodemocracy, voters are given property rights in their own votes that are recorded on decentralized blockchain ledgers, and those votes are contracted between voters and delegates (Allen et al. 2019). Compared to existing democratic structures, a cryptodemocratic structure has the potential to integrate more knowledge into collective decisions and be more responsive and accountable to the governed through stronger incentive alignment, perhaps ameliorate some collective choice problems. In this paper, we introduce the collective choice problems underpinning special jurisdictions, outline the potential for cryptodemocractic systems to facilitate jurisdictional competition as new infrastructure for special jurisdictions, and propose a new interdisciplinary research program at the boundaries of institutional economics, political science, and innovation economics.