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The process of blockchain integration into the social space: background and prospects

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.1, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 139-152

Keywords : blockchain; distributed ledgers; De Soto H.; MacKenzie D.; Feenberg A.; rationality; urban studies; decentralization; legitimation; STS;

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Nowadays, blockchain is seen as a new innovative technology with a potential influence on multiple social spheres. Ultimately presented to the world as a technical solution to a number of issues, it has recently been actively expanding its symbolic power. The need for a full-fledged comprehension of the blockchain technology leads to a thorough philosophical analysis of its genesis, its relation to a number of STS viewpoints and the discovery of its epistemological potential. This article attempts to find the roots of this technology in the intellectual history of accounting and double-entry bookkeeping, as well as its practical embodiment and prospects in global urban space. In order to characterize the relation of blockchain to theoretical and practical fields, the author performs an analysis of such categories as “decentralization”, “distribution”, “trustless technology”, etc. Another matter considered here is a question of how the embodiment of the basic blockchain principles is related to the prospects of broader social and technological development. Through a number of particular historical parallels (Ancient Schumer, Medieval Italy), as well as contemplation on the state of current affairs (De Soto Inc.) significant strategies of legitimation and rationalization of technologies are discovered in the framework of STS. The double-entry bookkeeping by the acknowledgement of its effectiveness and rationality fostered a new type of urban capitalist relationship. Blockchain centuries later, due to new technological advancements, has formed its own kind of urban social reality.

Last modified: 2020-03-02 00:17:31