Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Vincent Buccola


Cryptocurrency, or digital currency that utilizes blockchain technology and cryptography to encode transactions, has excited many with the promise of minimizing governance. Although the structure of cryptocurrency is inherently decentralized, cryptocurrency relies upon complex relationships between different actors with various functions and roles.. The execution of cryptocurrency thus depends on the mutually satisfying interactions of these actors, who form the basis for non-technical governance structures.

This paper investigates the extent to which technical governance mitigates traditional governance problems by examining the governance structures of two cryptocurrencies. It first gives background into the origin and technical value proposition of cryptocurrency, as well as governance theory, before analyzing Bitcoin and Ethereum to understand whEther technology mitigates actors’ motivations. This paper finds that despite cryptocurrency’s promise of minimizing governance, both Bitcoin and Ethereum rely heavily on trust networks, indicating that elements of non-technical governance are, in fact, crucial to their effectiveness.


cryptocurrency, bitcoin, governance theory

Included in

Business Commons



Date Posted: 26 June 2018


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