A Critical Look at Cryptogovernance of the Real World: Challenges for Spatial Representation and Uncertainty on the Blockchain (Short Paper)

Authors Benjamin Adams, Martin Tomko

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Author Details

Benjamin Adams
  • Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Martin Tomko
  • Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia

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Benjamin Adams and Martin Tomko. A Critical Look at Cryptogovernance of the Real World: Challenges for Spatial Representation and Uncertainty on the Blockchain (Short Paper). In 10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 114, pp. 18:1-18:6, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


Innovation in distributed ledger technologies-blockchains and smart contracts-has been lauded as a game-changer for environmental governance and transparency. Here we critically consider how problems related to spatial representation and uncertainty complicate the picture, focusing on two cases. The first regards the impact of uncertainty on the transfer of spatial assets, and the second regards its impact on smart contract code that relies on software oracles that report sensor measurements of the physical world. Cryptogovernance of the environment will require substantial research on both these fronts if it is to become a reality.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Spatial-temporal systems
  • Applied computing → Environmental sciences
  • Social and professional topics → Socio-technical systems
  • spatial information
  • spatial uncertainty
  • blockchain
  • smart contract
  • environmental management


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