Object-oriented scarcity as a technology of governmentality

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Oliver Leistert - Speaker

Lecture at MoneyLab #6, Siegen (Germany), March 7/8, 2019.

Blockchains are technologies of control. Control is the capacity to govern events as structured items. Blockchains are interesting because of the sovereign chronological regime that they establish.

This has the capacities to proof and modulate the existence, identity and administration of data, assets, goods and services from a distance.

But what is a sovereign chronological regime? It is a way of appending events or data to the chain, the generation of blocks in the order of the chain. To produce chronological order is to produce truth about events, to manifest and make happen that they took place and when. This is possible because there is no way to delete items in the chains. This lack brings blockchains into a special operational position within the media-technological structures around us. This void in the history of computing is its true historical difference to a common database: the lack of a delete function. If anything goes wrong, all that there is, is the fork. But this also means the end of one truth and the beginning of new ones. The fork simply opens a new terrain to be structured by events occuring.

But why has this technical feature of an append-only database such societal and economical powers? Why could it mobilize a new generation and a new type of hackers and programmers? Why would billions of US dollars be spent in short time for projects that often promise some solution that already exists but this time with a blockchain?


Money Lab #6: Infrastructures of Money


Siegen, Germany

Event: Conference