Life in Blocks: How Blockchain Technology Narrates the World

Published in: Research Handbook on Law and Literature (Edward Elgar Publishing 2022)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2023-39

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2023-15

23 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2023

See all articles by Andrea Leiter

Andrea Leiter

Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: November 29, 2023

Abstract

The claim that blockchain will disrupt life as we know it has been voiced in almost every corner of the world leaving few topics untouched. But how can we engage with such a claim? How can we try to understand the kinds of changes that are being fostered by this technology? The idea for this chapter is to try and sketch out ways of reading blockchain technology as narrative technology. Rather than inquiring into the stories about blockchain technology, I focus on the narrative capacity of the technology itself; treating the technology as a mode for mediating how we interact in and understand our social, economic and institutional engagements. I conceptualize the architecture of the technology as a site of politics, where normativity is constituted through the demands of representation of the narrative form of the technology. Rather than providing a final judgment on the potential and threats of the technology, the contribution aims at developing a vocabulary that foregrounds the ordering capacity of blockchain technology and inquiries into the ways it mediates our lives.

Keywords: blockchain, private ordering, world-making, representation, narration

Suggested Citation

Leiter, Andrea, Life in Blocks: How Blockchain Technology Narrates the World (November 29, 2023). Published in: Research Handbook on Law and Literature (Edward Elgar Publishing 2022) , Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2023-39, Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2023-15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4648167

Andrea Leiter (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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