Launched October 2020

We are excited to announce £4M of UKRI/EPSRC investment (plus over £6M of industrial contribution) to create a brand new UK research centre exploring the potential for decentralised platforms to disrupt the Digital Economy.

In our increasingly Decentralised Digital Economy, everyone has the opportunity to be both a producer and consumer of goods and services. But these dynamic, peer to peer markets are all underpinned by centralised digital platforms. Users rarely have a say in their governance decisions, which often made isolation of the global impacts they have on society.

DECaDE recognises this position and asks what can we do to transform this emerging future economy into one that is fair, that has appropriate governance, and maximises opportunites for everyone to create value. How can decentralised platforms enabled by emerging data-centric technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Ledgers and Blockchain transform our future economy – and the way we work, interact and create value.

Research Themes

Centralised platforms are empowered by vast silos of our data. If we can decentralise this data, we can build a new wave of decentralised platforms that empower people, businesses and services to take back agency and governance not just of their data but of this emergent decentralised economy. Our research themes explore the socio-technical challenges in designing and realizing such platforms.

Co-creating value

A major focus of DECaDE is the creative industries – a major UK economic driver. In prior work we showed how a combination of AI and DLT could be used to tamper-proof national archives world-wide. DECaDE pushes that same idea on to fight fake news in journalism, and to create decentralised trading floors for creative content.

Data and Identity

DECaDE explores value creation through data fluidity; data that moves dynamically with granular access control, generating value for its owners. We leverage new models for data provenance, and for commodifying data and products derived from it. We explore the associated issues` of self-sovereign and decentralised identities.

Decentralised Work

The shift in employment norms toward the gig economy challenge definitions of trust, and the value (fairness, worth) of work and as such and the values work represents in future society. DECaDE explores ideas like decentralised work record in a peer to peer economy and future supply chains.