Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Theory of the Academic Blockchain

Version 1 : Received: 26 July 2020 / Approved: 28 July 2020 / Online: 28 July 2020 (04:48:23 CEST)

How to cite: Wright, M. Theory of the Academic Blockchain. Preprints 2020, 2020070665. Wright, M. Theory of the Academic Blockchain. Preprints 2020, 2020070665.


This article integrates existing theory from distributed computing and cryptology with anecdotal material from the cryptocurrency industry, to provide a comprehensive description of the minimum requirements of the hypothetical academic blockchain. The paper argues that such a community could significantly reduce the biases and misconduct that now exist in the academic peer review process. Theory suggests such a system could operate effectively as a distributed encrypted telecommunications network where nodes are anonymous, do not trust each other, and there is minimal central authority. To incentivize the academic community to join such a proposed community, the paper proposes a pseudo-cryptocurrency called litcoin (literature coin). This litcoin-based system would create economic scarcity based on proof of knowledge (POK), which is a synthesis of the proof of work (POW) mechanism used in bitcoin, and the proof of stake (POS) mechanism used in various altcoin communities. The paper argues that the proposed POK system would enable the academic community to more effectively develop the research it finds valuable.


cryptography; timestamping; cryptocurrency; proof-of-knowledge; proof-of-work; proof-of-stake; proof-of-authority; litcoin; bitcoin


Computer Science and Mathematics, Information Systems

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