With an adoption rate comparable to the rise of the internet, the amount of cryptocurrency owners has climbed to more than 300 million. However, little is known to date about what makes people engage in this new type of currency or financial asset, and how they imagine the new digital economy and the effects it can have on our social structure. This project now wants to take an important first step in systematically collecting in-depth empirical data on the cultures—in particular imaginaries and moral world views—of crypto users. In this way we aim to address the following questions: How do crypto users imagine a digital economy? How do they understand the role of digital technology in shaping society? And, which political and moral worldviews motivate their participation? In order to do so we will conduct in-depth interviews with crypto owners as well as analysing Twitter data to unpack the global conversation on the value of cryptocurrency.
Kobe De Keere is Assistant Professor in cultural sociology at the Sociology Department. His focus is on subjects such as morality, valuation and inequality.
Stefania Milan is Professor of Critical Data Studies at the Department of Media Studies. Her work explores the interplay between digital technology and data, political participation and governance.