I remember it well:
Editor’s Preamble! Back in 1997 I gave a paper on crowdfunding – I believe the first ever proper paper, although there was one "lost talk" earlier by Eric Hughes – at Financial Cryptography 1997. Now, this conference was the first polymath event in the space, and probably the only one in the space, but that story is another day. Because this was a polymath event, law professor
who’s name escapesMichael Froomkin stood up and asked why I hadn’t analysed the crowdfunding system from the point of view of transaction economics.
I blathered – because I’d not heard of it! But I took the cue, went home and read the Ronald Coase paper, and some of his other stuff, and ploughed through the immensely sticky earth of Williamson. Who later joined Coase as a Nobel Laureate.
The prof was right, and I and a few others then turned transaction cost discussion into a cypherpunk topic. Of course, we were one or two decades too early, and hence it all died.
Now, with gusto, Vinay Gupta has revived it all as an explanation of why the blockchain works.