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Blockchain Democracy
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Book description

In Blockchain Democracy, William Magnuson provides a breathtaking tour of the world of blockchain and bitcoin, from their origins in the online scribblings of a shadowy figure named Satoshi Nakamoto, to their furious rise and dramatic crash in the 2010s, to their ignominious connections to the dark web and online crime. Magnuson argues that blockchain's popularity stands as a testament both to the depth of distrust of government today, and also to the fervent and undying belief that technology and the world of cyberspace can provide an answer. He demonstrates how blockchain's failings provide broader lessons about what happens when technology runs up against the stubborn realities of law, markets, and human nature. This book should be read by anyone interested in understanding how technology is changing our democracy, and how democracy is changing our technology.


'Blockchain Democracy achieves what so many other entries in the dialogue around blockchain have not: a balanced and approachable account of the technology, politics, and ideologies of cryptocurrency from its inception to the peaks and valleys of today's hype cycle.'

Jonathan Zittrain - George Bemis Professor of International Law and Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University, Massachusetts

'Blockchain Democracy is a thoughtful and valuable book. It describes the many ways that blockchain technology is being used around the world not only by an assortment of eccentric and entertaining characters but also by far more conventional banks, companies and governments. Magnuson maneuvers skillfully between devotees and naysayers, laying out the advantages and disadvantages of distributed systems that encode democracy but cannot escape its discontents.'

Anne-Marie Slaughter - CEO, New America

‘Investigating the most transformative technology of recent times, this fascinating book dives deep into the origins of blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Magnuson (Texas A&M Univ. School of Law) has compiled an enormous amount of research on the subject and put together a compelling case about the fundamental aspects of blockchain applications’

J. Brzezinski Source: Choice

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