COALA is an international, multidisciplinary, collaborative research and development initiative that endeavors to bring clarity and reduce legal uncertainty in the field of blockchain technologies, smart contracts and decentralized applications. It is intended to support the development and facilitate the deployment of blockchain based applications in today’s regulatory framework.


COALA is an international multidisciplinary collaborative research and development initiative that endeavors to bring clarity in the field of blockchain technologies, smart contracts and decentralized autonomous applications. COALA is named as the “Community Group on Cryptoledgers” at the UN(see http://www.intgovforum.org/), as well the W3C’s Working Group on Cryptoequity. COALA brings together diverse stakeholders – from diverse experts to global institutions – to facilitate the development and deployment of blockchain-based applications alongside governance policies that enable innovation, proper oversight, and meaningful evolution of regulatory frameworks. As members of the UN’s IGF, the W3C, and representative of a coalition of leading academic research universities around the world, COALA’s work drives blockchain technology policy, technical development, and next-generation applications at global scale.

COALA working groups are composed of academics, lawyers, economists, programmers, protocol architects, cryptographers, security experts, technologists, entrepreneurs, among other disciplines. We provide a holistic state-of-play regarding these technologies, to drive fact-based policy, technical research and development of blockchain infrastructure, and proof-of-concept applications. Recognizing these emerging technologies as an opportunity to facilitate our social and economic evolution alongside our rapid technological advance, COALA brings diverse communities together to explore the challenges and opportunities of emerging blockchain technologies and their impact on the way we live and work in modern society.

COALA is a collaborative community eager to explore the implications and deployment of blockchain technologies at the nexus of our evolving social and economic order in the 21st century. We want people to think about how the future of the Internet and society will look like in a world of ubiquitous connectivity, our lives and devices interconnected across complex, decentralized networks, where we recognize our abundance, and, perhaps, prosper in collaboration rather than mere competition.


Beginning with the inaugural edition at Harvard Berkman Center and MIT Media Labs, Blockchain Workshops are organised as a global, collaborative multi-stakeholder initiative between leading academic and research universities and subject matter experts within diverse sectors and disciplines, including lawyers, economists, cryptographers, protocol architects designers, designers and social activists. It was here at the first Blockchain Workshops that Joi Ito, director of MIT MEdia Labs, made his first public talk on the implications of blockchain.

Next, we brought this critical dialogue to the West Coast at Stanford University where we brought technology pioneers and social transformers like John Perry Barlow (Cyberpunk Manifesto), Don Tapscott and the founders of Burning Man, together with the next generation of technological pioneers like Dan Boneh (Stanford) and the core developers of ZeroCash and Ethereum. Here, our working groups began tackling the difficult challenge of adapting policy frameworks to blockchain technologies, and identifying research and development priorities.

We then took the conversation to London, in collaboration with universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, University College London, London School of Economics, and Imperial College alongside Deutsche Bundesbank (Central Bank of Germany) and the EU Commission. We went truly global in Hong Kong, where, in partnership with Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and Cyberport, we explored the idea of “Smart Contracts for Smart Cities” and heard from the great pioneers of blockchain protocols and Internet of Things, including Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum), Peter Todd (Bitcoin) and Henning Diedrich (IBM).

Now, as we approach the fifth edition of Blockchain Workshops in Sydney, our work has reached a maturation point where our working groups are ready to present our reports and projects to a roundtable of key stakeholders around the world, and facilitate this critical dialogue across the global spectrum of government, academia, the market, and civil society.


COALA’s mission is to create a global dialogue involving multiple stakeholders (governments, academia, industry, civil society) in the blockchain ecosystem.  As a coalition, we intend to collaboratively analyse and scrutinise the various technical and legal nuances of blockchain technologies so as to ultimately contribute to the formation and evolution of best practices, policies and regulations for these emerging classes of paradigmatic blockchain technnologies.

1. Public awareness and education

COALA’s goal is to educate, inform and disseminate information on current trends and policy developments with regard to blockchain development and regulation.

2. Multi-stakeholder dialogue

COALA provides a forum for cutting-edge research and development projects that explore how the technology can be used in a way that provides and enhances public utility and social good.

3. Open and collaborative research

COALA facilitates cutting-edge research and development projects that explore how the technology can be used in a way that provides public utility and social good.

4. Regulatory solutions to novel legal issues

COALA encourages the exploration of regulatory solutions that balance individual rights and innovation and are consistent with international law standards.


Constance Choi

Seven Advisory/CNRS

Primavera De Filippi

CNRS/Harvard Berkman

Amor Sexton

Adroit Lawyers

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