Darcy Allen

Dr Darcy Allen

Senior Research Fellow

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Profile photo of Darcy Allen in a suit and dark framed glasses smiling towards the camera against a solid white background

Contact details

COBLBlockchain Innovation Hub


RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub


Emaildarcy.allen@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


More information

Profile photo of Darcy Allen in a suit and dark framed glasses smiling towards the camera against a solid white background

Contact details

COBLBlockchain Innovation Hub


RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub


Emaildarcy.allen@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


More information

Dr Darcy Allen is an economist and writer working on frontier technologies and the digital economy. He is a Senior Research Fellow with the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, where he uses economics to understand and design decentralised digital infrastructures.

Overview

Dr Darcy Allen is an academic economist and writer. He is currently working on the economics of blockchain technology at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub. His research seeks to understand and design decentralised digital infrastructures. He works closely with industry partners to develop new business models underpinned by blockchain technology.

Dr Allen's research has been published across economics, law and public policy. He has published over 15 journal articles and 4 books including When Entrepreneurs Meet: The Collective Governance of new Ideas (World Scientific, 2020), The New Technologies of Freedom (AIER, 2020) and Cryptodemocracy: How Blockchain Can Radically Expand Democratic Choice (Lexington, 2019). Dr Allen's papers on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) have been downloaded over 16,000 times (placing him in the top 1% of authors), and he has over 1000 citations on Google Scholar.

His research is impact-driven and industry-enaged. Dr Allen works closely with a wide range of industry and government partners to understand how blockchain and other technologies impact them. Through those relationships he has raised and delivered on over $300,000 in external research funding, leading several major projects.

Dr Allen engages closey with the public policy process around the regulation of new technologies. His commentary and research findings on innovation and regulation have appeared widely across the print and electronic media including in outlets such as The Australian, the Australian Financial Review, the Herald Sun and the Sydney Morning Herald. He has made many submissions to public inquiries on a range of regulatory matters, and he has been an invited expert witness before several state and federal parliamentary inquiries.

Web

Research

Dr Allen's research applies social science tools to innovation with frontier technologies. His latest focus has been on blockchain and cryptocurrencies as new types of institutional technologies.

Dr Allen takes an industry-driven approach to research. His research outputs span from theoretical insights into the future of the digital economy to practical analysis of new decentralised business models.

Throughout his research career, Dr Allen has focused on two main questions. First, how do entrepreneurs use different institutional governance structures to reveal market opportunities? Second, what are the implications of blockchain technology as a new type of economic, social and political infrastructure?

Research keywords

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Digital Economy, Innovation Economics, Institutional Economics, Entrepreneurship

Research output summary

17

Publications

4

Books

$300,000+

Grants

Web

Supervisor interest areas

  • Economics of Blockchain Technology
  • Regulation of Blockchain Technology
  • Blockchain Goverance
  • Governance of Innovation

Feature publications

Blockchain and the Evolution of Institutional Technologies: Implications for Innovation Policy

Research Policy, vol. 49. No. 1. pp. 1-8

Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Markey-Towler, B, Novak, M and Potts, J (2020)

Cryptodemocracy: How Blockchain Can Radically Expand Democratic Choice

Lexington Books

Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Lane, AM (2019)

The Governance of Blockchain Dispute Resolution

Harvard Negotiation Law Review, vol. 25, pp. 75-101

Allen, DWE, Lane, AM and Poblet, M (2020).

Key publications by year

  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Lane, AM, McLaughlin, P (2021) ‘The Political Economy of Australian Regulatory Reform’, Australian Journal of Public Administration.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Davidson, S, and Potts, J, (2021) ‘Blockchain and Investment: An Austrian Approach’, Review of Austrian Economics, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 34, pp. 149-162.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Davidson, S and Potts J (forthcoming) ‘Property Rights, Knowledge Commons and Blockchain Governance’ in E. Dekker and P. Kuchar, Governing Markets as Knowledge Commons, Cambridge University Press.
  • Allen, DWE, (2020) When Entrepreneurs Meet: The Collective Governance of New Ideas, World Scientific.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Davidson, S (2020) The New Technologies of Freedom, American Institute for Economic Research.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Davidson, S, Lane, AM and Potts, J (2020) Unfreeze: How to Create a High Growth Economy After the Pandemic, American Institute for Economic Research.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Markey-Towler, B, Novak, M and Potts, J, (2020) ‘Blockchain and the Evolution of Institutional Technologies: Implications for Innovation Policy’, Research Policy, vol. 49. No. 1. pp. 1-8 [IF: 6.908, Scimago Q1, ABDC A*].
  • Allen, DWE, Lane, AM and Poblet, M, (2020) ‘The Governance of Blockchain Dispute Resolution’, Harvard Negotiation Law Review, vol. 25, pp. 75-101 [ERA 2010 A].
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Jowett, K, Novak, M, Potts, J (2020) ‘The Cryptoeconomics of Cities, Data and Space’, Cosmos + Taxis.
  • Poblet, M, Allen, DWE, Konashevych, O, Lane, AML, Valdivia, CAD (2020) ‘From Athens to Blockchain: Oracles for Digital Democracy’, Frontiers in Blockchain.
  • Allen, DWE (2020), ‘Governing the Entrepreneurial Discovery of Blockchain Applications’, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 194-212 [IF = 0.813].
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Lane, AM (2020) ‘Cryptodemocracy and its Institutional Possibilities’, The Review of Austrian Economics, vol. 33, pp. 363-374 [IF 0.692].
  • Allen, DWE and Lane, AM (2020) ‘Cryptodemocratic Governance of Special Economic Zones’, Journal of Special Jurisdictions, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 83-111.
  • Allen, DWE and Berg, C (2020) ‘Blockchain Governance: What We Can Learn from the Economics of Corporate Governance?’, The Journal of the British Blockchain Association, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-10.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Lane, AM (2019) Cryptodemocracy: How Blockchain Can Radically Expand Democratic Choice, Lexington Books (Series on Polycentricity: Studies in Institutional Diversity and Voluntary Governance).
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Davidson, S, Novak, M and Potts, J, (2019) ‘International Policy Coordination for Blockchain Supply Chains’, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 367-380 [IF 1.406, Scimago Q1].
  • Allen, DWE, Berg A, Berg C, Markey-Towler, B and Potts, J (2019) ‘Some Economic Consequences of the GDPR’, Economics Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 785-797 [IF 0.348].
  • Allen, DWE, Berg A and Markey-Towler, B (2019) ‘Blockchain and Supply Chains: V-form Organisations, Value Redistributions, De-commoditisation and Quality Proxies’, The Journal of the British Blockchain Association, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 57-65.
  • Allen, DWE (2019) ‘Entrepreneurial Exit: Developing the Cryptoeconomy’, in Swan, M, Potts, J, Takagi, S, Tasco, P, Witte, F (eds.), Blockchain Economics, World Scientific, Chapter 10, pp. 197-214.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Novak, M (2018) ‘Blockchain: An Entangled Political Economy Approach’, Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 105-125 [Lead Article].
  • Allen, DWE and Berg, C (eds.) (2018) Australia’s Red Tape Crisis: The Causes and Costs of Over-Regulation, Connor Court Publishing, Australia, pp. 295
  • Allen, DWE (2018) ‘Red Tape Reduction: A New Approach’, in DWE Allen and C Berg (eds.), Australia’s Red Tape Crisis: The Causes and Costs of Over-Regulation, Connor Court Publishing, pp. 208-221.
  • Allen, DWE and Berg, C (2018) ‘Regulation and Technological Change’, in DWE Allen C Berg (eds.), Australia’s Red Tape Crisis: The Causes and Costs of Over-Regulation, Connor Court Publishing, pp. 222-233.
  • Allen, DWE and Berg, C (2017) ‘Subjective Political Economy’, New Perspectives on Political Economy, vol. 13, no. 1-2, pp. 19-40.
  • Allen, DWE and Potts, J (2016) ‘How the Innovation Commons Contributes to the Development and Discovery of New Technologies’, International Journal of the Commons, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 1035-1054 [Scimago Q1].
  • MacDonald, TJ, Allen, DWE and Potts, J (2016) ‘Blockchains and the Boundaries of Self-organized Economies: Predictions for the Future of Banking’, In Tasca, P, Aste, T, Pelizzon, L, and Perony, N (eds.), Banking Beyond Banks and Money: A Guide to Banking Services in the Twenty-First Century. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 279-96.
  • Moilanen, A, Daly, A, Lobato, R, and Allen DWE (2014) ‘Cultures of Sharing in 3D printing: What Can We Learn from the Licence Choices of Thingiverse Users?’, Journal of Peer Production, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-11.
Web

Feature projects

Improving Water Markets through Digital Technologies

CRC For Developing Northern Australia Project

Team: Allen, Berg, Lane, Morton

2020 - 2021

The New Technologies of Freedom

Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Team: Allen, Berg, Davidson, Novak, and Potts

2019

Exploring the Potential for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to Enhance Transport

Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre

Team: Allen and Potts

2018 - 2019

Key projects by year

  • 'An Institutional Map of VeChain Governance.’ (2021) VeChain Grants.
  • ‘Improving Water Markets through Digital Technologies’ (2020-21) CRC For Developing Northern Australia Project.
  • ‘Heavy Vehicle Data and Traffic Management’ (2020-21) Funder: Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre.
  • ‘Incorporation of Blockchain Encryption Technology to Secure Patient Medical Records, Both Episodic and Longitudinal, Within Targeted Medical and Clinical Information Applications’ (2019-20) Funder: Victorian Medical Department of Health and Human Services, Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund.
  • ‘The New Technologies of Freedom’ (2019) Funder: Mannkal Economic Education Foundation.
  • ‘Exploring the Potential for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to Enhance Transport’ (2018-19) Funder: Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre.
  • ‘Applying blockchain to the Victorian Water Register’ (2018-19) Funder: Victorian Department of Water, Land, Environment and Planning.
  • ‘Blockchain and Digital Innovation Projects for the APEC Business Advisory Council in Papua New Guinea’ (2018). Funder: Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Web

Awards

Journal of the British Blockchain Association Global Peer Reviewer of the Year

Award date: 2021

Recipients: Darcy Allen

Journal of the British Blockchain Association Best Papers of 2019

Award date: 2020

Recipients: Darcy Allen

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence (Higher Degree by Research, Enterprise)

Award date: 2018

Recipients: Darcy Allen

Web

Grants

  • ‘Heavy Vehicle Data and Traffic Management’. Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre Project 3.73. Research Team: Allen. Funding: $7,292 (2020-2021).
  • ‘Incorporation of Blockchain Encryption Technology to Secure Patient Medical Records, Both Episodic and Longitudinal, Within Targeted Medical and Clinical Information Applications’. Victorian Medical Department of Health and Human Services, Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund. Research Team: Allen, Berg, Novak and Potts. Funding: $99,961 (2019-2020).
  • ‘The New Technologies of Freedom’. Mannkal Economic Education Foundation. Research Team: Allen, Berg, Davidson, Novak and Potts. Funding: $35,000 (2019).
  • ‘Exploring the Potential for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to Enhance Transport’. Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre. Research Team: Allen and Potts. Funding: $25,000 (2018-2019).
  • ‘Applying blockchain to the Victorian Water Register’. Victorian Department of Water, Land, Environment and Planning. Research Team: Allen, Berg and Potts. Funding: $21,460 (2018-2019).
  • ‘Blockchain and Digital Innovation Projects for the APEC Business Advisory Council in Papua New Guinea’. Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Research Team: Allen and Berg. Funding: $135,000 (2018).
Web

Public and media engagements

2021

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Davidson, S and Potts, J (2021) Deciding how to spend your blockchain treasury, Cryptoeconomics Australia, 21 July.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Potts, J (2021) Towards a digital CBD, RMIT Acumen, 22 June.
  • Allen, DWE (2021) Governing blockchain treasuries, Darcy Allen Substack, 7 June.

Selected Keynotes and Panels

  • Blockchains and the Future of High Trust Trade, keynote to SUSMUNCH 2021, Hong Kong, October 2021.
  • Blockchain Development Funds, guest on Tracer Drop series, 21 July 2021.
  • Crypto-politics: An Update, guest on Mint n Burn podcast, 13 July 2021.
  • 'Property Rights, Knowledge Commons and Blockchain Governance' to the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Knowledge Commons Conference, virtual, 11 June 2021.
  • 'Unfreeze: How to Create a High Growth After the Pandemic', Guest on the American Institute for Economic Research Authors’ Corner podcast, February 2021.

Expert Witness Appearances Before Parliamentary Inquiries

  • Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Center, 27 August 2021 (with Berg, C and Lane, AM)
  • Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, 11 February 2021 (with Berg, C and Lane, AM)

2020

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE, Lane, AM, and Poblet, M (2020) Solving Blockchain Smart Contract Disputes, Machine Lawyering, 22 May.
  • Allen, DWE and Lane, AM (2020) How to Unfreeze the Post-Pandemic Economy, Foundation for Economic Education, 10 May.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C, Davidson, S, Lane, AM, and Potts, J (2020) Cryoeconomics: How to Unfreeze the Economy, Cryptoeconomics Australia, 2 April.

Selected Keynotes and Panels

  • 'Blockchain and Special Jurisdictions', invited keynote to Laboratorio de Políticas para la Seguridad y el Desarrollo, Global Lecture Series together with Startup Societies Foundation, online 6 November 2020, via Mexico
  • 'The New Technoloiges of Freedom', Guest on the Building Tomorrow podcast, September 2020.
  • 'Blockchain: Economics, Regulation and policy, keynote to the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications, online 15 July 2020.
  • 'Cryoeconomics: How to Unfreeze an Economy after the Pandemic', talk to ‘Blockchain and the future of work, education, and networking during times of global pandemics’, online, 22 April 2020.

2019

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE (2019), Backing blockchain with strong policy, Policy Forum, 25 July.
  • Allen, DWE (2019), For Tassie exporters, Paper Trail Risks Destroying Vital Trust, Hobart Mercury, 12 July.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, C and Potts, J (2019) Blockchain and the Manufacturing Industry, Australian Manufacturing Technology Magazine, June.
  • Allen, DWE and Berg, C (2019) Why blockchain technology could be the key to solving the developing world’s biggest problems, Foundation for Economic Education, 7 May.
  • Allen, DWE, Berg, A and Markey-Towler, B (2019) Predictions for Trade in a Blockchain World, Machine Lawyering, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 28 January.

Selected Keynotes and Panels

  • 'Blockchain and the education landscape', panel member at Blockchain2020 Industry Conference, Melbourne, 31 October 2019, Melbourne
  • 'Blockchain supply chains and the future of global trade', keynote to the 3rd Digital Supply Chain Innovation and Humanless Warehouse Forum, 29 October 2019, Melbourne.
  • 'How to understand the blockchain economy', keynote to the William Buck Sydney CFO Symposium, Swissotel Sydney, 17 October 2019
  • 'An introduction to the economics of blockchain', keynote to the Economics Society of Australia Policy in the Pub, Melbourne, 16 October 2019
  • 'How can blockchain innovation impact on the new retail supply chain ecosystem?', moderator, APAC Blockchain Conference, Sydney, 24 July 2019
  • 'Blockchains and the Future of Trade', keynote presentation to The Future of Trade Conference, Queensland University of Technology Garden Point Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, 10 April 2019
  • 'Blockchains and the Future of Trade', presentation to AUSPack Industry Conference, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, 27 March 2019

2018

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE and Berg, C (2018) Blockchain to smart up global trade, Vietnam Investment Review, 10 September.

Selected Keynotes and Panels

  • 'Blockchain in a development context', presentation to the Development Research Centre of The State Council (Delegation from China), RMIT University, Melbourne, 23 October 2018
  • 'Institutional Cryptoeconomics and Supply Chains', to Blockchain Pasifik Conference, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 11 October 2018
  • 'Blockchain for Development', Brief to the Parliament of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 10 October 2018
  • 'Introduction to blockchain', Board of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (with Sinclair Davidson), Melbourne, 26 September 2018
  • 'Blockchain TradeTech', APEC Study Centres Consortium Conference, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 14 May 2018

2017

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE (2017) Over-regulation could keep drones grounded, The Weekly Times, 26 July.
  • Allen, DWE (2017) Too much regulation clips wings of innovation, The Australian, 19 May.
  • Allen, DWE (2017) Taxi license compensation sends the wrong message, Herald Sun, 14 February.

Expert Witness Appearances Before Parliamentary Inquiries

  • Senate Committee on Red Tape, Environmental Assessments and Approvals, 22 August 2017, Perth (Breheny, S).
  • Senate Committee on Red Tape, The Effect of Red Tape on the Sale, Supply and Taxation of Alcohol, 24 February 2017, Sydney (with Berg, C).

2016

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE (2016) Red tape hampers resources recovery, The West Australian, 7 October 2016.
  • Allen, DWE (2016) Cut green and red tape to drive more growth in farming sector, Hobart Mercury, 31 July.
  • Allen, DWE (2016) Drive productivity through innovation, Farm Weekly, 28 July.

Expert Witness Appearances Before Parliamentary Inquiries

  • Senate Standing Committee on Economics, Inquiry into Criminal, Civil and Administrative Penalties into White Collar Crime, 6 December 2016 (with Bushnell, A).
  • Victorian Standing Committee on Economy and Infrastructure, Inquiry into Ride Sourcing Services, 8 September 2016, Melbourne (with Berg, C and Lane, AM).

2015

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE (2015) New laws will impact Sydney apartment sizes, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 May.

2014

Selected Popular Writing

  • Allen, DWE (2014) What is a taxi? Regulation and the sharing economy, OECD Insights, 22 December.
Web
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.