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[Lecture Series FS22] Economic Implications of Scaling Blockchains


Prof. Fahad Saleh (Wake Forest University)


Leading blockchains (e.g., Bitcoin and Ethereum) involve prohibitive transaction costs, and those costs serve as the primary impediment for their mainstream adoption. Conventional wisdom holds that increasing throughput (i.e., scaling blockchain) resolves the stated problem, but this paper establishes that the conventional wisdom is inaccurate for blockchains employing a Proof-of-Work protocol. More explicitly, for blockchains employing a Proof-of-Work protocol, we demonstrate that improvements in scale undermine security, and the reduction in security leads to lower adoption levels. In contrast, this paper also establishes that blockchains employing a Proof-of-Stake protocol do not face the referenced issue. In particular, for blockchains employing a Proof-of-Stake protocol, we demonstrate that an increase in scale enhances security, and the enhanced scale and security collectively imply an unambiguous increase in adoption levels.


Tuesday, 8th Feb. 2022

18:00 – 20:00

Online via Zoom

Zoom link will be visible to registered people


Prof. Fahad Saleh 

Fahad Saleh is an Associate Professor of Finance and the Nunnenkamp-Cinelli Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest University. His research focuses on economic questions associated with blockchain and has been published in leading academic journals such as Management Science and the Review of Financial Studies. His research has also been presented at prominent policy institutions (e.g., Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, US Treasury Department) and elite universities (e.g., Wharton School of Business, NYU Stern). Moreover, his work has received several awards, including a competitive research grant from IBM Blockchain.
Fahad holds a PhD in Finance from New York University. He also holds graduate and undergraduate degrees, both in Operations Research Engineering, from Columbia University and Cornell University respectively.


Time Speaker Event Title Presentations
18:00 -18:15Welcome & Introduction
18:15 -19:00Prof. Fahad SalehEconomic Implications of Scaling Blockchains
19:00 -19:30Q&A
19:30 -20:00e-Apéro


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