Chapter 5 outlines the community of developers who have contributed to Bitcoin’s source code. Drawing from ethnographic data and existing political economy theorisations of cryptocurrencies, the governance of the Bitcoin codebase is understood through obligatory passage points found among key individuals and groups involved in the creation of Bitcoin. The consensus model for making changes to the Bitcoin software shows how code is bound up with political tensions that arise through coordinating geographies of production. Pressures between different stakeholders are exposed to show how a stagnation of decision-making in code development and the increased likeliness of the project forking as it scales demands degrees of centralisation at the architectural level of cryptocurrency design so actions can be resolved and implemented. The overall political framework for altering Bitcoin’s code is described as senatorial governance: a (de)centralised model where bureaucratic parties compete to change the monetary policy (codified rules) of the protocol.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.