This book is a journey through coexisting, emerging or speculated about, types of digital value transfer infrastructures. Using digital value transfer infrastructures as a central case study, this thesis is concerned with unpacking the negotiation processes that shape the governance, design and political purposes of digital infrastructures that are closely linked to the public interest and state sovereignty. In particular, the papers that are assembled in this manuscript identify and inspect three main socio-technical developments occurring in the domain of value transfer technologies: a) the privatization and platformization of digital payment infrastructures; b) the spread of blockchain-based digital value transfer infrastructures; c) the construction of digital value transfer infrastructures as public utilities, from the part of public institutions or organizations. Concerned with the relationship between law, discourse and technological development, the thesis explores four transversal issues that strike differences and peculiarities of these three scenarios: i) privacy; ii) the synergy and mutual influence of legal change and technological development in the construction of digital infrastructures; iii) the role of socio-technical imaginaries in policy-making concerned with digital infrastructures; iv) the geography and scale of digital infrastructures. The analyses lead to the argument that, in the co-development of legal systems and digital infrastructures that are core to public life, conflicts are productive. Negotiations, ruptures and exceptions are constitutive of the unending process of mutual reinforcement, and mutual containment, in which a plurality of agencies – expressed through legal institutions, symbolic systems, as well as information and media structures – are entangled.
Text: Valeria Ferrari
Layout and cover design: Andy Díaz Sánchez
Published by the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2023
Institute of Network Cultures
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA)
This publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit www.creativecommons.org/licences/by-nc-sa/4.0./.
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