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Title Blockchain technology as a “Control Machine”: Experimental Evidence
Post date 04/11/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

Blockchain technology is argued to be a “trust machine”. Yet, I argue that this technology, by ways of regulatory contractual control, hinders trust by excluding temporal and social trust building factors. Furthermore, Blockchain should be understood as an institutional factor that omits the existence of risk in a trust relationship.

To test these claims I build on Berg et al (1995) trust game and design a “Blockchain trust game” in which the Second mover is obliged by the contract to return at least the amount sent by the First mover before the investment multiplication. I compare the results of this game to the results of a standard one-shot classical Trust game (Berg et al. 1995)

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

1. On average, First Mover in the Blockchain treatment would decide to invest more often than the First Mover in the Trust treatment.
2. On average, First Mover in the Blockchain treatment would invest more points than the First Mover in the Trust treatment.
3. On average, Second Mover in the Blockchain treatment would return a smaller proportion of the investment amount after multiplication than the Second Mover in the Trust treatment.
4. The decision of the Second Mover in the Blockchain treatment would not be affected by the amount sent from the First Mover.
5. The decision of the Second Mover in the Trust treatment would be positively affected by the amount sent from the First Mover.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

Hypothesizes 1, 2 and 3 will be tested by a simple comparison of the means. Hypothesis 4 and 5 will be tested using a OLS regression.

The invested amount/amount sent by the first mover is the invested amount after multiplication.

The proportion retuned by the SM is computed by dividing the invested amount by the amount returned.

C4 Country United States
C5 Scale (# of Units) Both games will be conducted on a sample of 200 pairs each on Amazon Mechanical Turk. That means, 400 participants in each game or 800 participants altogether.
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? No
C8 IRB Number not provided by authors
C9 Date of IRB Approval not provided by authors
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? No
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors