What has philosophy got to do with cryptocurrency?

As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, with a Cambridge degree in philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, Sebastian Porsdam Mann’s theory is probably worth a listen.

At Codemotion Berlin 2018, Sebastian delivered a speech with Maximilian Schmid, titled “Two sides of a coin: ethics, human rights and blockchain technologies“. In this talk, they examined the philosophical study of the identification of the best possible options in any given case is known as ethics.

“Ethics and human rights can benefit Blockchain by utilising some of the insights that moral philosophers have had over thousands of years.”



Sebastian’s current work explores the moral dimensions of modifying and creating lifeforms, human rights, informed consent, medical data sharing, and the role and responsibilities of modern universities. His research is also focused on the intersection between ethics and blockchain technologies.

According to Sebastian, Blockchain technologies represent a great opportunity, but also the insights of millennia of great thinkers can also be useful to the blockchain communities. In addition, the human right to enjoy the benefits of the progress of science, its applications and the related rights are highly relevant for issues at the intersection of computing and society. His talk explored the synergy between ethics, human rights and blockchain technologies.

“It’s a two-way street. Blockchain can be immensely useful in furthering ethical and human rights causes. It can be used to grant refugees digital documents that they may have lost in paper form, massively increase the efficiency of aid work and check the provenance of dubious things, like blood diamonds for example.”