Blockchain technology is permanently changing the world we live in. It is forgery-proof enough to allow for safe transactions between two parties who know nothing about each other, and allows for money transfers without the help of banks, contract closures without the need for a notary public, and proof of identity without ID documents.
Cryptoeconomics investigates potential applications for blockchain technology, and its effects on society and the economy.
Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics
WU concentrated its expertise in this field into the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics in early 2018. The new institute was established in reaction to the demand for research findings stemming from the multi-faceted nature of this booming new technology. A comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach is needed to fully explore the potential of blockchain technology, and the research institute will be investigating technical as well as economic, social, and legal aspects. A combination of basic and applied research will allow researchers to observe how blockchain technology interacts with other technologies like artificial intelligence and the internet of things.
Shermin Voshmgir, founder of the BlockchainHub in Berlin, is the director of the institute, and Alfred Taudes from the Institute for Production Management is the academic head. Currently, 30 researchers from eight different departments are affiliated with the research institute.
In the Public Spotlight
The level of public interest in the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics was high from the start. The institute’s researchers are in demand as interview partners for Austrian and international media.
The first Cryptomonday, an in-house research seminar, and the Crypto Asset and Blockchain for Science conferences were very well attended. Institute faculty were also involved in external events on blockchain technology and cryptoeconomics, held lectures, and conducted workshops with companies and public service institutions.
Our researchers also actively support the government and local administrations in legislative questions, for example as members of the FinTechRat board established by the Austrian Ministry of Finance. They were involved in the introduction of the Austrian blockchain “Artis” and have published numerous articles and papers on the subject.
World’s Largest Blockchain Competence Center
The Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) is the world’s largest competence center for blockchain technology. Headed by Alfred Taudes from WU’s Institute for Production Management, the center concentrates the expertise of 21 research facilities, 54 companies, and 17 associated members. The center’s research areas include Industry 4.0/the internet of things, finance, energy, and logistics, and applications in administration and the public sector.
Thanks to cooperations between innovative start-ups and leading research and development facilities, a number of blockchain-based applications and business models have already been created. The introduction of the Austrian Blockchain Center will lead to an increase in these activities and help establish Austria as one of Europe’s most innovative countries.