From its shadowy origins in Bitcoin to its 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 and shows how blockchain technology powers new forms of value exchange and social coordination. The reader will learn about cryptocurrency and blockchain 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.
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.
Summary and Bio:
Quinn DuPont is a postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Washington. He has researched cryptocurrencies and blockchains for over five years and has published extensively on the topic. He is involved in developing blockchain technical standards and is the IEEE Blockchain Education chair. He is also the Chief Governance Officer at Qubit Protocol, a startup applying blockchain technologies to quantum technology R&D. Previously, he was a Senior Information Specialist at IBM.
In this talk, I introduce my book’s key finding—that cryptocurrencies and blockchains are powerful new technologies for experimenting with some of society’s most important institutions. In thinking about these technologies as tools for social experimentation, I argue that we are embarking on new social and technical terrain, with unprecedented abilities to rearrange power structures, create new economic incentives, and solve collective action problems. I discuss these social dynamics through tales of my own experiences as an active researcher and conclude with critical optimism for this dynamic and often troubled set of technologies and its varied communities.