Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Geography

Major Professor

Marcellus M. Bosman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Reader, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew W. Wilson, Ph.D.

Keywords

blockchain, code/space, Lefebvre, political economy

Abstract

Cryptocurrencies and blockchains are increasingly used, implemented and adapted for numerous purposes; people and businesses are integrating these technologies into their practices and strategies, creating new political economies and spaces in and of everyday life. This thesis seeks to develop a foundation of geographic theory for the study of spatial production within and surrounding blockchain technologies focusing on acute studies of Bitcoin as cryptocurrency, Ethereum as digital marketplace, and their conditions of possibility as decentralized autonomous organizations. Utilizing concepts from Henri Lefebvre's Production of Space, this thesis situates blockchain technologies within the wider discussion about the political economy of modes of spatial production, dialectical material methods, code/space, and network society through an examination of human and machine relations within their unique and emergent spaces. Combining phenomenological and dialectical material methods with the methodological practice of discourse analysis and systems theory, this thesis explores an understanding of how systemic mechanisms and actant actions driving blockchain technologies are indications of new evolutions in our conceptions of space and place in everyday life of later informational capitalism.

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