Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

Can Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology Play a Role in Building Social and Solidarity Finance?

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.

[Read paper in the UNRISD website]

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This entry was posted on Thursday, 3 March 2016 by in Innovation and tagged , , , , .
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