From their shadowy origins in Bitcoin to their use by multinational corporations, cryptocurrencies and blockchains are remaking the rules of digital media and society. Meanwhile, regulators, governments, and the public are trying to make sense of it all.
In this accessible book, Quinn DuPont guides readers through the changing face of money to show how blockchain technology underpins new forms of value exchange and social coordination. He introduces cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to readers in terms of their developers and users, investment opportunities and risks, changes to politics and law, social and industrial applications - and what this all means for the new economy. The author argues throughout that, rather than being a technical innovation, cryptocurrencies and blockchains are social technologies enabling developers and users to engage in unprecedented experiments with social and political levers.
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains dispenses with hype and offers sober reflection on this crucial and timely topic. It is essential reading for students and scholars of culture, politics, media, and the economy, as well as anyone who wants to understand, take part in, or change the future of work and society.
“This book cuts through the hype and presents, in layperson’s terms, the developments and applications of blockchain, offering lessons on how we will imagine human systems, governance, and accountability in a world of distributed computational processes and decentralized authority. A real tour de force.“
Bill Maurer, University of California, Irvine
“Amid all the hype surrounding cryptocurrency, this book provides a refreshingly balanced perspective on what matters – and does not matter – about these new forms of money. Quinn DuPont provides a well-informed analysis of the cryptocurrency terrain, which should be required reading for students and researchers, as well as anyone who wants to get involved in this exciting new world but might be wary of doing so.”
Nigel Dodd, London School of Economics and Political Science