Chapter 6 documents a more specific and exploratory follow the thing research technique to uncover the digital-material architecture of Bitcoin. Treating the Bitcoin code as both a text and material, a single bitcoin is followed through the decentralised protocol “from” Australia “to” the United States. By tracing the spatial relationships between miscellaneous paraphernalia that facilitate the transaction, from proprietary software to Bitcoin mining rigs, the chapter navigates the material culture of the Bitcoin blockchain. This involves opening up source code for inspection to uncover the functional performativity of the network. The spatial lens used reveals several material infrastructures such as undersea cables, data centres, pools of Bitcoin mines, active nodes, and third-party wallet software, that assemble to form operational modes of centralisation.
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