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Community Cryptocurrencies for Sustainable Prosperity: A Case Study of FairCoin

This working paper was originally submitted as a dissertation as part of the MSc in Global Prosperity. It examines the potential of “community cryptocurrencies” as a tool to reframe the economy for sustainable prosperity. It aims to contribute to the significant body of literature on community currencies for sustainability by examining the role of cryptocurrencies within this space.

Cryptocurrencies are a new innovation which have been criticised as unsustainable speculative digital assets characteristic of anarcho-capitalism. The working paper presents a case study of FairCoin, a value-centric cryptocurrency used by the anarchist social movement FairCoop, to create a fairer, sustainable, alternative economy. Using diverse economies approach, I identify the shared vision and material practices FairCoin generates and optimistically discuss the possibilities and contradictions of the findings for sustainable prosperity. Data was collected through a range of methods, of which primary data sources consist of eight semi-structured interviews, and secondary data sources include web-based sources and published documents. Utilising a novel theoretical framework, I conclude that it is the community and the social life of the value-centric cryptocurrency which enables its use for sustainable prosperity.

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