Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 45 (3):172-178 (2015)

Mark Coeckelbergh
University of Vienna
Transitions in monetary technologies raise novel ethical and philosophical questions. One prominent transition concerns the introduction of cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies based on blockchain technology. Bitcoin is an example of a cryptocurrency. In this paper we discuss ethical issues raised by cryptocurrencies by conceptualising them as what we call “narrative technologies”. Drawing on the work of Ricoeur and responding to the work of Searle, we elaborate on the social and linguistic dimension of money and cryptocurrencies, and explore the implications of our proposed theoretical framework for the ethics of cryptocurrencies. In particular, taking a social-narrative turn, we argue that technologies have a temporal and narrative character: that they are made sense of by means of individual and collective narratives but also themselves co-constitute those narratives and inter-human and social relations; configuring events in a meaningful temporal whole. We show how cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin dynamically re-configure social relations and explore the consequent ethical implications.
Keywords Cryptocurrencies  Bitcoin  technology  mediation  narrative  Ricoeur  Searle  money
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Reprint years 2015, 2016
DOI 10.1145/2874239.2874264
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References found in this work BETA

The Construction of Social Reality.John R. Searle - 1995 - Philosophy 71 (276):313-315.
The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays.Martin Heidegger & William Lovitt - 1981 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (3):186-188.

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