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Předmět, akademický rok 2023/2024
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Bitcoin and its Discontents: Anthropology of the Digital Economy - JSM530
Anglický název: Bitcoin and its Discontents: Anthropology of the Digital Economy
Zajišťuje: Katedra sociologie (23-KS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2023
Semestr: letní
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:2/0, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (25)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
4EU+: ne
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: Mgr. Martin Tremčinský, Ph.D.
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Termíny zkoušek   Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Martin Tremčinský, Ph.D. (10.02.2023)
The course aims to engage critically with the current developments in the socio-technological organization of the economy. We see how the new digital technologies challenge the traditional understanding of modern categories such as value, privacy, and property in our daily lives. Although these technological changes tend to be introduced as liberating and progressive by their inventors and techno-optimists, they represent a significant risk of creating new (or reinforcing old) social inequalities. Behind the discourse of objectively impartial technology, an ideologically informed design is set up to enact a particular vision of society and social relations.

Bitcoin is chosen as an exemplar technology that embodies the challenges of the new digital economy. This highly controversial technology came into existence in 2009, and since then, it has gained a significant community of devoted supporters and an even larger community of critics. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that aims to challenge the existing financial system and its hegemony. However, despite being presented as a revolutionary innovation, Bitcoin's economic design is – for better or worse – informed by many conservative ideologies and assumptions.
The course aims to introduce Bitcoin in its complexity and to discuss its merits and shortcomings. Through assigned readings students shall get a hold of different approaches to analysing bitcoin form its history and mythology, to its re/production, to its possible futures.

The course is ended by an essay (max length 2500 words) on one of three assigned topics. In the essay students are asked to compare two specified approaches to the Bitcoin technology and provide their own assessment of these conflicting views.

All the sources can be found in moodle: https://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=14727

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Martin Tremčinský, Ph.D. (10.02.2023)

The topics fro the essay are:
1. Is Bitcoin communist or fascist?

a. Mark Alizart: Cryptocommunism
b. David Golumbia: Politics of Bitcoin

2. Is bitcoin a tool for the apocalypse or post-capitalist utopia?

a. Finn Brunton: Digital Cash
b. Kenji Saito: Reverse Gutenberg Galaxy

3. Does Bitcoin rest on the idea of primitive money?

a. Jo Walton: Bitcoin and stone money
b. Fitzpatrick & McKeon: Banking on Stone Money

Based on the method of the course and its literature, this course would be best suitable for masters students or students in the 3rd year of their bachelor studies.

All the sources cna be found in moodle: https://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=14727

Introduction – what is Bitcoin?

·        Compulsory Reading: Nakamoto: Bitcoin - A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

2.       History of Bitcoin

·        Compulsory Reading: Swartz: What was Bitcoin, what will it be?

3.       What is blockchain?

·        Compulsory reading: Caliskan: Data money - The socio-technical infrastructure of cryptocurrency blockchains

·        Suggested readings: Wang: Blockchain chicken farm (Chapter 2) 

4.       Bitcoin mythology

·        Compulsory reading: Faustino et. al.: The myths and legends of king Satoshi and the knights of blockchain

5.       Bitcoin as a payment method

·        Suggested readings: Nelms et. al.: Social Payments - Innovation, Trust, Bitcoin, and the Sharing Economy

6.        Bitcoin as a commodity

·        Compulsory reading: Tremčinský: Labour theory of control

7.       (Fake) prehistory of Bitcoin

·        Compulsory reading: Walton: Bitcoin and stone money

·        Suggested readings: Fitzpatrick & McKeon: Banking on Stone Money

8.       Politics of Bitcoin

·        Compulsory reading: David Golumbia:  Bitcoin as Politics: Distributed Right-Wing Extremism

·        Suggested readings: Kavanagh & Ennis:  Cryptocurrencies and the emergence of blockocracy

·        Suggested readings: Manski & Manski: No Gods, No Masters, No Coders? The Future of Sovereignty in a Blockchain World

9.       Crypto-colonialism

·        Compulsory reading: Jutel: Blockchain imperialism in the Pacific

·        Suggested readings: Crandal: Blockchains and the “Chains of Empire”

10.   Bitcoin and identity

·        Suggested readings: Heisther & Yuthas: The blockchain and how it can influence conceptions of the self

·        Suggested readings: Rantala: Blockchain as a medium for transindividual collective

11.   Bitcoin and future u/dys-topia

·        Compulsory reading: Saito: Reverse Gutenberg Galaxy - Digital Transformation of Economy and Labor

12.   Conclusion

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