Taking Blockchain Seriously

Herian, Robert (2018). Taking Blockchain Seriously. Law and Critique, 29(2) pp. 163–171.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10978-018-9226-y


In the present techno-political moment it is clear that ignoring or dismissing the hype surrounding blockchain is unwise, and certainly for regulatory authorities and governments who must keep a grip on the technology and those promoting it, in order to ensure democratic accountability and regulatory legitimacy within the blockchain ecosystem and beyond. Blockchain is telling (and showing) us something very important about the evolution of capital and neoliberal economic reason, and the likely impact in the near future on forms and patterns of work, social organization, and, crucially, on communities and individuals who lack influence over the technologies and data that increasingly shape and control their lives. In this short essay I introduce some of the problems in the regulation of blockchain and offer counter-narratives aimed at cutting through the hype fuelling the ascendency of this most contemporary of technologies.

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