Samer Hassan & Rufus Pollock on Decentralization, Platform Monopolies and Web3

on Monday, July 18, 2022

In this episode of our Making Sense of Crypto and Web3 series, we talk with blockchain researcher and expert Samer Hassan. Samer is an academic at Harvard and Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain focused on decentralized collaboration. In this episode we talk about decentralization both pre and post blockchain, why platform monopolies like Facebook and Google are so ubiquitous and whether Web3 could help replace them with something fairer, freer and more participatory.


Samer Hassan is an activist, researcher and teacher, Faculty Associate at Harvard University‘s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and Associate Professor (“Profesor Titular“) at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain.

His focus is on decentralized collaboration and how to build free/open source privacy-aware decentralized systems (e.g. blockchain) that facilitate the sustainability of collaborative communities and social movements (from the Commons paradigm).

He was awarded EU’s largest individual research grant, an ERC Grant of 1.5M€, to work on Blockchain-based Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) for bootstrapping a new type of Collaborative Economy. You can find out more at