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Francesco Maria De Collibus successfully defended his PhD dissertation

In his thesis on “The Ethereum Ecosystem from a transaction network perspective”, he used network science methodologies to study Ethereum and its fungible token (ERC-20) ecosystem, a thriving environment for financial innovation. In the course of six articles, he demonstrated centralization at nearly every level of analysis, challenging the prevalent notion within the crypto ecosystem of being entirely decentralized, therefore “not needing any trust”. Although the network is peer-to-peer, the participants are not peer, i.e. equal in terms of resources and centrality. To do so, he analyzed a fully public and permissionless platform where addresses interact and hold balances in multiple currencies, including Ether, the native cryptocurrency, and a diverse range of other tokens. Key elements such as network structure, balance distributions, and other quantifiable aspects are predominantly centralized, so there is a need to reconsider the necessity of trust, particularly concerning the most influential hubs. Highlighting as well relevant aspects of the velocity of money in Ethereum and about important marketing effects in the adoption of tokens.