Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/148750
Authors: 
Scott, Brett
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
UNRISD Working Paper 2016-1
Abstract: 
The decentralized digital currency Bitcoin - and its underlying "blockchain" technology - has created much excitement in the technology community, but its potential for building truly empowering social and solidarity-based finance has yet to be tested. This paper provides a primer on the basics of Bitcoin and discusses the existent narratives about the technology┬┤s potential to facilitate remittances, financial inclusion, cooperative structures and even micro-insurance systems. It also flags up potential points of concern and conflict; such as the tech-from-above "solutionism" and conservative libertarian political dynamics of some of the technology start-up community that surrounds Bitcoin. As a way of contrast the paper considers "blockchain 2.0" technologies with more overtly communitarian ideals and their potential for creating "cooperation at scale". It concludes with suggestions for future research.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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