COALA is an international multidisciplinary collaborative research and development initiative for blockchain technologies. We are a coalition of the leading academic research institutions from around the world, providing neutral, fact-based blockchain research to support policy development. Our working groups are composed of academics, lawyers, economists, protocol architects, security experts, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

COALA brings together diverse stakeholders in working groups and projects - from domain experts to global institutions - to facilitate the development and deployment of blockchain-based frameworks, standards, and applications alongside governance policies that enable innovation and evolution of legal and policy frameworks.

COALA represents the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies” at the UN, COALA also has two W3c arms, including the W3C’s Working Group on Cryptoequity (blockchain-based web protocols) and Community Group for COALA-IP (open web protocol for sharing metadata for IP). COALA has also launched the IRTF Blockchain Research Group, responsible for coordinating blockchain-based Internet protocols.

As members of the UN’s IGF, the W3C, the IRTF, and representative of a coalition of leading academic research universities around the world, COALA’s collaborative, community-driven work drives blockchain policy, technical development, and next-generation applications at global scale.


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.


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.