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Mine the gap: Bitcoin and the maintenance of trustlessness

Abstract:

Subscribing to a techno-utopian discourse replacing institutions and experts with “trust in code,” digital alternative currency Bitcoin is pitched as a “math-based money” governed by incorruptible code rather than human regulators. In three cases, which occurred between 2013 and 2015, we examine this system at moments of breakdown. In contrast to the discourse, we find that power is concentrated to critical sites and individuals who manage the system through ad hoc negotiations, and who users...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed

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Publisher copy:
10.1177/1461444818786220

Authors


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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
SSD
Department:
Oxford Internet Institute
Role:
Author
ORCID:
0000-0002-6509-1703
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Journal:
New Media and Society More from this journal
Volume:
21
Issue:
1
Pages:
42-59
Publication date:
2018-07-11
Acceptance date:
2018-06-07
DOI:
EISSN:
1461-7315
ISSN:
1461-4448
Keywords:
Pubs id:
pubs:892216
UUID:
uuid:b489489f-9426-46e1-b3ed-d3a4b60e6845
Local pid:
pubs:892216
Source identifiers:
892216
Deposit date:
2018-08-02

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