The social construction of blockchain privacy platforms
Circles of conversation - CCA 2019 graduate students proceedings

How to Cite

Mentanko, J. (2020). The social construction of blockchain privacy platforms. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 12(1), 70–82.


Our current internet environment is characterized by online conglomerates, predictive computing and data mining. With this, there is a growing concern among users on how to protect their privacy and manage their identities online. Advocates for blockchain, the newest large-scale wave of internet based platforms, argue it is highly useful for privacy protection. Blockchain is an encrypted and decentralized public ledger that verifies and stores information through a peer-to-peer network. Using the social construction of technology (SCOT) as a theoretical framework, I deploy a comparative discourse analysis of three blockchain platforms - Brave, Civic and Oasis Labs - along with user discourse on Reddit and Medium. This paper explores how users socially construct this emerging technology by comparing privacy discourse between blockchain platforms and motivated social agents. I found blockchain privacy platforms and its users both value data ownership, ad-blocking and safety and security. However, there is also friction and disagreement about themes of trust and ethics as well as usability.