Abstract

For millennia, money has been a basal element of everyday life reality in market-organized societies. Albeit money has changed extrinsically (e.g., form, use, utility) countless of times, some intrinsic characteristics remain the same, i.e., money is reified value. But why? What gives money value? Even more crucial, what is money in the first place? This exploratory study delves into the intricacies of money, in particular the revolutionary 21st century pecuniary techno-phenomenon, a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. Though cryptocurrencies have been the topic of several financial and legal scholarly publications for a few years, we rather focus our analysis on Bitcoin's ontological characteristics under a schema of overlapping theoretical layers: Social Exchange Theory, Marxian Dialectics, and Social Construction of Reality. Our intention is to dissect Bitcoin sociologically and empirically examine its global exchange, consumption, and institutionalization. Consequently, we venture to ask, can Bitcoin redefine the meaning of money and how we relate to it? Reformulate the role of banking? Disrupt the universally accepted objective reality of currency value attached to sensorial experience? Transfer trust from ambivalent human relations to an incorruptible algorithm? Or even become "the Internet of money"?

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Gay, David

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Sociology

Degree Program

Applied Sociology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006412

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006412

Language

English

Release Date

August 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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