The Digital Traces of Crypto-Finance
Cossu, A. (2022). The Digital Traces of Crypto-Finance, in E. Armano, M. Briziarelli, & E. Risi, (Eds.), Data traces, digital platforms, and algorithmic self. University of Westminster Press. ISBN: 978-1-914386-08-4
16 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2022
Date Written: July 8, 2021
The data made available by the digitisation of social life revolutionised the behaviour of financial amateurs that are investing in cryptocurrencies, created in the aftermath of the Blockchain revolution. The knowledge of others’ actions was always a preoccupation for investors in every market as it played a pivotal role in the creation of financial profit: the less key information was known to the public, the more it was valuable. Now, the regime of visibility gets reverted: what was once concealed is now publicly disseminated on the web. Discussions take place online among amateur investors about potentially lucrative currencies; online they are also socialised to the new practices and ethos of digital finance via YouTube videos, and, most importantly, they coordinate their actions in online chats as Telegram or Discord. In this contribution I intend to explore the new role of information production and creation in the functioning of crypto-financial markets. The digital traces left by amateur investors across the web call for an updated understanding of the cultural ideology operating beneath this financial revolution where an apparently perfect symmetry of information is coupled with universally accessible digital ledgers. Based on digital data gathering and content analysis I will argue that such digital traces empower these new investors with an unprecedented possibility of creating value and, at the same time, they subject them to massive big-data gathering by companies that analyse and sell their aggregated behaviours.
Keywords: big data, crypto-finance, social media, amateur investors, data exploitation, data subjects
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