GeoCoin: supporting ideation and collaborative design with location-based smart contracts

Bettina Nissen, Larissa Pschetz, Dave Murray-Rust, Hadi Mehrpouya, Shaune Oosthuizen, Chris Speed

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    29 Citations (Scopus)
    183 Downloads (Pure)


    Design and HCI researchers are increasingly working with complex digital infrastructures, such as cryptocurrencies, distributed ledgers and smart contracts. These technologies will have a profound impact on digital systems and their audiences. However, given their emergent nature and technical complexity, involving non-specialists in the design of applications that employ these technologies is challenging. In this paper, we discuss these challenges and present GeoCoin, a location-based platform for embodied learning and speculative ideating with smart contracts. In collaborative workshops with GeoCoin, participants engaged with location-based smart contracts, using the platform to explore digital `debit' and `credit' zones in the city. These exercises led to the design of diverse distributed-ledger applications, for time-limited financial unions, participatory budgeting, and humanitarian aid. These results contribute to the HCI community by demonstrating how an experiential prototype can support understanding of the complexities behind new digital infrastructures and facilitate participant engagement in ideation and design processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHI 2018
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 2018 CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781450356206
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018
    EventCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Engage with CHI - Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018


    ConferenceCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Abbreviated titleCHI 2018
    Internet address


    • Distributed ledgers
    • Smart contracts
    • Smart city
    • Geofence
    • Design and ideation


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