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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

WebSci21: Spotlight panel 6

Does Decentralisation Help the Disenfranchised?

Chair, Jennifer Zhu Scott leads panellists, Maltem Demirors, Glenn Gore, Sanjay Jain, and JP Rangaswami in a discussion around the aims vs the results of technologies aiming to deliver flexible, decentralised transactions and record-keeping (without the high costs of central banks and national exchanges). Whilst developing countries have previously embraced innovative technologies such as mobile/wireless comms to great effect, the panel will discuss examples of the impact of decentralised tech on some of the poorer economies/groups around the world.


Since the Genesis Block of Bitcoin occurred in Jan 2009, the world has been marching to an exciting, sometimes crazy journey to decentralization. Despite the ideals and promises of the blockchain technology, the world has witnessed much drama of many self-serving projects profiteering off often desperate people in the name of decentralization.

This panel asks hard questions to those who have been devoting their career to a more decentralized world – are we truly serving the disfranchised people and fulfilling the promise of decentralization technology? We will learn about the real life-changing examples around the world. 



About the Video Vault Series

In partnership with the ACM we are pleased to be able to release a series of videos from the most recent Web Science Conference (ACM WebSci’21) that were previously only available to attendees of the conference. The series will be released fortnightly and will include a selection of Keynote talks and Spotlight panel discussions.

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This video is (c) 2021 provided under license from the ACM.

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