Monies at play: on cryptocurrencies, blockchain projects' agencies and regulatory configurations in the Netherlands and beyond
(University of Lisbon)
Paper short abstract:
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects crosscut various material, regulatory and market configurations. This paper contributes to a mapping of the ways in which cryptocurrencies travel across such configurations, by examining how project teams navigate particular regulatory and market contexts.
Paper long abstract:
Despite carrying with it promises for decentralization, cryptocurrencies and blockchain bring about regulatory and social scientific discussions that go beyond that subject and relate more intimately to the nature of monies (Dodd 2014), technology (Oudshoorn and Pinch 2003) and the future socio-political configurations that emerging techno-economic arrangements may contribute to (Callon 1990; Swartz 2017, 2018).
Departing from the EU context, and from ethnographic and netnographic case studies about blockchain communities in the Netherlands and beyond - including groups seeking for financial alternatives, as well as financial incumbents - in this paper I intend to explore how tacit negotiations between financial regulations and project development play out in practice. When, and where, do cryptocurrencies and broader financial regulations become a worry in a project's roadmap? How do projects get funding? What are the monies and regulatory frameworks contemplated in funding strategies? How do projects supported by cryptocurrencies unfold, taking into account their many material and operational links to 'real' and regulated worlds?
Departing from concrete case-studies about blockchain based projects, I intend to trace the entanglements between digital spaces and currencies, and the material, regulatory and market configurations across which they travel. Through these ethnographic insights into project pragmatics, but also into regulatory and supervisory perspectives about cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies and blockchain technology, I wish to contribute to a discussion about monies, their creation, transformation, mobility and fixation.
How mobile is money? Fixture and flow in emerging monetary regimes