Sandboxes and testnets as “trading zones” for blockchain governance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


FinTech regulatory sandboxes and testnets use cases offer a hybrid model for integrating blockchain technologies with governance, connecting code with regulations, on-chain infrastructure with off-chain institutions. The hybrid models are an alternative to the reduction of governance to consensus mechanisms in the present libertarian but also anarcho-capitalist and communitarian blockchain projects. Inspired by the concepts of “innovation through dissonance” in the so-called “trading zones,” we claim that the regulatory sandboxes can integrate all four regulatory forces (law, social norms, market, and technical infrastructure) rather than only two (FinTech insistence on markets and technology). This evaluation criterium for sandboxes was defined and tested with a simulated ledger (testnet) for exploring near-future scenarios of blockchain governance. In 2019, we conducted five workshops with 35 participants using templates of smart contracts to decide upon regulations of novel services that use satellite data to trigger automatic transactions (change of ownership). In the workshop and following questionnaire, the participants expressed need for a better integration of their natural language, regulations, and code without prioritizing any regulatory force or domain (market, culture, technology, or law), but supporting what we describe as a playful “regulation through dissonance.”

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlockchain and Applications - 2nd International Congress, BLOCKCHAIN 2020
EditorsJavier Prieto, António Pinto, Ashok Kumar Das, Stefano Ferretti
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783030525347
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Conference on Blockchain and Applications, BLOCKCHAIN 2020 - L´Aquila, Italy
Duration: 17 Jun 202019 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Volume1238 AISC
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


Conference2nd International Conference on Blockchain and Applications, BLOCKCHAIN 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research is supported by Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Individual Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


  • Blockchain
  • Governance
  • Regulatory sandbox


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