Odysseas Sclavounis

I am currently a PhD candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, looking at the governance and development of public blockchains. I am also a doctoral student at the Alan Turing Institute, where I have received a Turing Studentship. Prior to my PhD, I completed an MSc on the Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, where my thesis looked at reputation systems in cryptomarkets. I completed my BA at King’s College London in political science and institutional theory. Other research interests include free and open source software, Internet governance, cryptomarkets and institutional theory. I have published on the potential impact of blockchain on transaction costs in the financial system and regularly attend conferences and expert workshops on blockchain technology. I have also helped organise academic conferences and seminars both in Oxford and at the Alan Turing Institute, such as the Connected Life Conference. Outside of academia, I have consulted on the usage of blockchain technology in the private sector for various industries. Before beginning my graduate studies I completed a year of mandatory military service in the Greek navy.


Current Research

My research looks at the governance of public blockchains, focusing specifically on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. The block size debate and the DAO crisis have shown that public blockchain communities are subject to divisive governance crises about how best to manage their respective networks. My research looks at the politics involved with the development, maintenance and control of these blockchain protocols. I am interested in how such communities resolve the collective action problems inherent in the management of their blockchains. I would like to better understand why the ability of the communities to arrive at collective action differ from one cryptocurrency to another, and what the relevant factors are in achieving this. I find this question on the governance of public blockchain to be important to ensure that these systems are built to be resilient, sustainable and in line with the principles of decentralization.

n institutional theory and governance, particularly of distributed systems such as Bitcoin and Blockchains.

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