State of the Field Lunch: Atul Pokharel, Cryptocurrencies for Planning and Profit - Political Economy of Blockchain

Presented by Wagner Master's of Urban Planning Program

1:30pm - 3:00pm
April 23, 2018
1:30pm - 3:00pm
The Puck Building - 295 Lafayette Street, Mulberry Conference Room (Room 3072), 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012

This talk presents ongoing work studying a new technology for secure, decentralized trust called the blockchain. Recently famous for powering Bitcoin, the technology has many other applications from private data sharing to alternative currencies and fully anonymous, verifiable transactions. These new applications have the potential to alter our understanding of the political economy of property rights, contracts, trust and other central concepts in planning.  Yet, in other ways blockchain-based applications are similar to digital infrastructure that we are familiar with.  The talk will summarize the basic elements of the technology called the blockchain and describe some applications. The aim will be to sketch how the blockchain is similar or different from what planners have seen before. Because this talk traces the bleeding edge of the field, the exact contours may change.