Building Blocks: Conceptualizing the True Socio-Political Potential in Blockchain's Facilitation of Self-Sovereign Digital Identity and Decentralized Organization

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Smye, Timothy




Blockchain has been revered as a revolutionary technology capable of facilitating the transition to new economic and political systems premised on decentralization. In order to do this, however, it must transcend the contemporary digital landscape in its facilitation of digital identity - which is perhaps its most promising potential in that it can enable what is referred to as self-sovereign identity. The dominant line of thinking regarding this potential, however, is problematic; it is rooted in anarcho-capitalist ideologies that posit the free market as the purveyor of freedom. Subsequently, I argue that there is an apparent sociopolitical oversight regarding the nature of the market as it pertains to the sovereign state, and that those seeking to pass sovereignty to the individual should reject the capitalist institutions that necessitate a coercive state apparatus. Rather than this, there is true emancipatory potential in the development of the digital commons.


Political Science




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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