The Dissensus Protocol: Governing Differences in Online Peer Communities

Peer-to-peer networks and protocols have inspired new ideas and ideologies about governance, with the aim of using technology to enable horizontal and decentralized decision-making at scale. This article introduces the concept of “dissensus” from political theory to debates about peer governance in online communities. Dissensus describes the emergence of incompatible differences. Among peer-to-peer technologies, blockchain stands out as a set of ideas that explicitly seek to resolve dissensus through consensus protocols.