University of Twente Student Theses


Governing socio-technical systems : internal governance of decentralised blockchain-based networks

Helfrich, F.L. (2020) Governing socio-technical systems : internal governance of decentralised blockchain-based networks.

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Abstract:Along with the emerging use of cryptocurrency systems, new forms of decentralised blockchain-based networks are envisioned and being developed. These networks are extending the scope of using blockchain technology beyond solely financial contexts into novel fields of application. Investigating the ways in which such networks are implemented in societies and how they are governed requires understanding the underlying technical structures, social practices and forms of governance within such networks. Investigating these internal aspects of decentralised blockchain-based networks is the main focus of this thesis. Drawing on accounts in the field of science and technology studies (STS), this thesis will elaborate on decentralised cryptocurrency systems as being constituted by technical aspects of their infrastructure, as well as the social relations within them. Building upon an understanding of the socio-technical structure of such systems, the influence of their decentralised character on the constitution of user identities is presented. It will be investigated how the socio-technical character and decentralised structure of cryptocurrency systems leads to new forms of governance within them and, correspondingly, in the decentralised blockchain-based networks they are a part of. Two illustrative cases of decentralised blockchain-based networks in electricity markets and the forms of governance within them will be examined.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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