Teaching cryptocurrencies as cryptocultures


In this paper, I discuss an approach to teaching cryptocurrencies as cryptocultures. Cryptocurrencies are traditionally approached as technical or financial phenomena, but I argue that for students outside those specialist areas, a cultural approach will orient them better. I encourage teachers to first focus on situating students in a place, a shared public commons inhabited by the community of a cryptocurrency. I offer a way to model this place using a hash, bash, cash model of decentralised organisation. I build on this sense of place by then revealing to students the cultural context of a cryptocurrency. The context is comprised of the social imaginaries and the overarching goal animating a cryptocurrency culture. I show how this cryptocultural approach can be used to analyse different cryptocultures through an examination of the competing environmental imaginaries of Bitcoin and Ethereum.



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