Areas of Interest

BDAP addresses cutting-edge legal, public policy, and business aspects of digital assets, under three broad pillars. Our project areas evolve to reflect the fast-changing industry and policy landscape.


Digital assets pose a variety of challenges for regulators, including how to apply existing financial regulatory regimes, enforcement, and whether to create new legal frameworks. These are magnified by the global nature of blockchains and decentralized applications. BDAP is one of the first university-based initiatives to focus on these questions from an international perspective. Our initiatives include:

  • Reg@Tech Roundtable: A bi-annual workshop for a select group of regulators, industry legal experts, and academics from around the world.
  • DeFi Policy-Maker Toolkit: A collaboration with the World Economic Forum to demystify decentralized finance, the challenges and opportunities it poses, and potential policy responses.


Governance is the process of making collective decisions, implementing them, and resolving disputes. Blockchain-based platforms, applications, protocols, and organizations require novel governance approaches to effectively pair effective coordination with openness and decentralization. Starting in 2019, we have worked to study and advance best practices for both on-chain and off-chain aspects of blockchain governance.

  • Wharton Cryptogovernance Workshop: Expert gatherings to share best practices and identify gaps in effective governance of blockchain-based systems.
  • Cryptogovernance Assessment Questionnaire: We are building a resource describing governance practices of blockchain networks, protocols, applications, and communities in a consistent framework.
  • DAO Governance Toolkit: A collaboration with the World Economic Forum to demystify decentralized autonomous organizations.
  • Foundations of Decentralized Organizations: This project will examine decentralized autonomous organizations under established legal, economic, and governance principles.


Digital assets and blockchain are increasing seen as the foundations for a new decentralized internet ecosystem, incorporating developments such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and innovative decentralized applications (Dapps). Our goal is to separate hype from reality, analyzing both the benefits and the dangers of this developing phenomenon.

  • Measuring Decentralization: Can we formally define decentralization, and use those measures to compare platforms or applications?
  • DAO Census: The first comprehensive empirical study of decentralized autonomous organizations.