Melanie Swan

Technology Theorist, Philosophy Department, Purdue University

Melanie Swan is the Founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies, a Technology Theorist in the Philosophy Department at Purdue University, and a Singularity University faculty member. Her education includes an MBA in Finance from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Philosophy from the New School in New York NY, an MA in Contemporary Continental Philosophy from Kingston University London and Université Paris 8, and a BA in French and Economics from Georgetown University. Her primary research interests are Technophysics, Smart Networks, and Blockchain Economics. In pure research, Melanie applies quantitative methods from mathematics, physics, complexity science, and machine learning to blockchains. In applied research, she focuses on payment channels, debt, net-settled capital, risk, integrated business ledgers, and blockchain health economics. Regarding social organization, she has proposed the “Smart City Cryptopolis and Blockchain Enlightenment,” a social theory of dignity for a multi-species society of human, algorithm, and machine. In applied economics, she has formulated algorithmic trust, a network mechanism that moderates credit availability and facilitates blockchain markets to Nash equilibria more quickly than classical markets. Advanced conceptual research focuses on BCI cloudminds, the Brain as a DAC, the biocryptoeconomy, and blocktime (the native time domain of blockchains).


Swan M, dos Santos RP. (Submitted). Smart Network Field Theory: The Technophysics of Blockchain and Deep Learning. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. Wiley.
Swan M. (Submitted). Technophysics, Smart Health Networks, and the Bio-cryptoeconomy: Quantized Fungible Global Health Care Equivalency Units for Health and Well-being. In Boehm, F. Ed., Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, and AI: Toward the Dream of Global Health Care Equivalency. Boca Raton FL: CRC Press.
Swan M. (Forthcoming 2019). Blockchain Economic Theory: Digital Asset Contracting reduces Debt and Risk. In: Swan M, Potts J, Takagi S, Witte F, Tasca P, eds. Blockchain Economics. London: World Scientific.
Swan M. (Forthcoming 2019). Blockchain Theory of Programmable Risk: Black Swan Smart Contracts. In: Swan M, Potts J, Takagi S, Witte F, Tasca P, eds. Blockchain Economics. London: World Scientific.
Swan M. (Forthcoming 2019). Introduction to Blockchain Economics. In: Swan M, Potts J, Takagi S, Witte F, Tasca P, eds. Blockchain Economics. London: World Scientific.
Swan M. (Forthcoming). Blockchain Economic Networks: Economic Network Theory of Systemic Risk and Blockchain Technology. In: Treiblmaier H, Beck R, eds. Implications of Blockchain. Palgrave Macmillan.

Swan M. (2018). Blockchain consumer apps: Next-generation social networks (aka strategic advice for Facebook). CryptoInsider.
Swan M. (2018). Blockchain for Business: Next-Generation Enterprise Artificial Intelligence Systems. In: Raj P, Deka GC, eds. Advances in Computers. Vol. 111. Blockchain Technology: Platforms, Tools and Use Cases. London: Elsevier.
Swan M. (2018). Blockchain Economics: ‘Ripple for ERP’ integrated blockchain supply chain ledgers. European Financial Review. Feb-Mar: 24-7.

Swan, M. and de Filippi, P. (2017). Introduction, In Toward a Philosophy of Blockchain. Swan, M. & de Filippi, P., Eds. Metaphilosophy. New York: Wiley & Sons. 48(5):603-19.
Swan M. (2017). Anticipating the Economic Benefits of Blockchain. Technology Innovation Management Review. 7(10): 6-13.
Swan M. (2017). Is the Blockchain Economy Ushering in a New World Economic Order? The Bitcoin Hard Fork, SEC’s ICO Ruling and Hayek’s Multiplicity of Currencies. Bitcoin Magazine.
Swan M. (2017). Expectation on Blockchain: Blockchain Economics and Finance. Frontier of the Blockchain, Intelligence No. 121, Chijo (Intelplace), Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), International University of Japan. 17-24.

Swan, M. (2016). The Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces: Blockchaining Your Way into a Cloudmind. Journal of Evolution and Technology. 26(2).
Swan, M. (2016). Bio-Cryptoeconomy: Nanorobotic DACs for Cell Repair and Enhancement. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
Swan M. (2016). Decentralized Crypto-Finance: Blockchains, Automatic Markets, and Algorithmic Trust. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
Swan M. (2016). Blockchain Temporality: Smart Contract Time Specifiability with Blocktime. Rule Technologies. Research, Tools, and Applications, 10th International Symposium, RuleML 2016, Stony Brook, NY, USA, July 6-9, 2016. Proceedings. 184-96.
Swan M. (2016). Rethinking Authority with The Blockchain Crypto Enlightenment.Response to The Edge Question 2016: What do you consider the most interesting recent news? What makes it important? In Know This: Today’s Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments. John Brockman, Ed. New York: HarperCollins. 564-7.

Swan M. (2015). Blockchain thinking: The brain as a DAC (decentralized autonomous corporation). IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. 34(4):41–52.
Swan M. (2015). Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy. Sebastopol CA: O’Reilly Media.

Research Fields

Technology Theory, Continental Philosophy, Complexity

Key Words

Blockchain, Complex Systems, Data Science, Financial Mathematics, FinTech, IT Infrastructure, Network Theory, Systematic Risk, Smart Contracts

Purdue University, USA

Link to personal website