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

Ali­na O. Kosti­na
Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

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

Abstract. 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.

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



The arti­cle is writ­ten with sup­port of Russ­ian Foun­da­tion for Basic Research, project 18–311-00282 “Ratio­nal­i­ty in the Human­i­ties: the­o­ret­i­cal con­tro­ver­sies and dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tice”.


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