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Federated Bookkeeping: Using Linked Data to Decentralise Personal Finance


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Information on the Thesis

Type of Final Thesis: Bachelor, Master
Supervisor: Christoph Braun
Research Group: Web Science

Archive Number: 4.875
Status of Thesis: Completed
Date of start: 2022-07-12

Further Information

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) is the hot topic for anyone interested in Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), cryptocurrencies and financial systems in general. DeFi does not rely on central intermediares to manage money and financial transactions, typically by means of smart contracts. The problem: Errors and exploits in the immutable code of the smart contracts carry significant risk of rendering the DeFi system useless. Instead of relying on a blockchain-based solution to decentralise the financial platform, other approaches put the person and their monetary balance in the focus. Instead of handing over crypto-tokens, the idea is to keep track of who owes whom what: IOUs ("I owe you"s) are documented, summed up, balanced out - in a decentralised way, with the human at its center, not the technology. Such an approach may loosely be described by the term Federated Bookkeeping.


To manage personal online data, we use Solid (https://solidproject.org), which aims to re-decentralise the Web by empowering the user to take over control again. The Solid Protocol connects mature Web technologies like the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and RESTful HTTPS APIs: Users store data in personal online data storages (Pods) and define access control on their resources as desired.


In this thesis, you will explore how personal finance can be decentralised using Linked Data and Solid. Depending on the specific topic and scope of your thesis, you may even examine its pros and cons in comparison to blockchain-based DeFi.


If you are interested, feel free to shot an email with your current transcript of records and your resume, as well as a short paragraph about your previous experience and motivation.