Author:Virginia Vargolska (University of Vienna)
Paper short abstract:
A case study on a farm in rural Russia which minted its own cryptocurrency.
Paper long abstract:
The paper is based on fieldwork that took place at a farm in rural Russia, where the owner initiated the creation of a cryptocurrency. The post-soviet countryside is an environment where different types of informal exchange are practiced, both monetary and non-monetary. Thus, cryptocurrency becomes a sociomaterial algorithm that is used for the redistribution of subsistence goods and favors, similar to the ways embedded in socialist and post-socialist economies. Drawing from earlier anthropological discussions on gift-commodity logic in the area, I argue that this cryptocurrency filled a "space in between" a gift (authority, name) and a commodity, as it can be traded and speculated on global crypto stock-exchanges.
How mobile is money? Fixture and flow in emerging monetary regimes