December 1, 2018
by Sharon Moran
The following article briefly outlines what I think Philosophy of Cryptocurrency should be.
A cursory Google search for the phrase philosophy of cryptocurrency returned a few article results in which the word philosophy was used in a very casual way. The word outlook easily could have been substituted for the word philosophy, and the titles would have largely retained their meaning.
Philosophy of Cryptocurrency is a newly emerging subfield of philosophy that studies what digital currency is, how it functions, how it derives value, how it questions our notion of ownership, and even how it can end global poverty.
It overlaps philosophy of economics, philosophy of computer science, and philosophy of math and intersects to varying extents with the fields of computer science, math, economics, cryptography and quantum computing.
Philosophy of cryptocurrency is concerned with the ethical issues that arise pertaining the creation, mining, and use of cryptocurrencies. Not only is it concerned with the creation of digital money but also the social and economic implications of the different mechanisms to validate transactions.
In future articles, I will expand upon the specific vision of what I think philosophy of cryptocurrency should be. Currently, I’m in the process of writing a book that marks a new benchmark in academic scholarship in the newly emerging field of the philosophy of cryptocurrency. I will trace the history of bitcoin through its roots that span decades leading up to the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper in late 2008. Cryptocurrency probably would not exist without the free software movement that predated it, a topic I’ve written about before.
I’ll also cover Aristotle’s Legacy for the Philosophy of Cryptocurrency. Of course, Philosophy of Cryptocurrency is not absent quantum considerations, which will be covered in depth as well.
The questions Philosophy of Cryptocurrency explores are not only relevant to scholars or philosophers, but to executives of blockchain companies, programmers, smart contract developers, and other cryptocurrency industry professionals.