Beyond Scandal? Blockchain Technologies and the Fragile Legitimacy of Post-2008 Finance

Campbell-Verduyn, M. & Huetten, M., Dec-2019, In : Finance and Society. 5, 2, 19 p.

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How do applications of emergent technologies contribute to the legitimacy of finance? To assess the contributions of ‘fintech’ to the fragile social legitimacy of finance following the 2007-8 global financial crisis, this article examines a set of technologies that have received increasing industry, media and scholarly attention over the past decade: blockchains. Harnessing concepts of moral economy and scandal, both possibilities and limits for blockchain applications to legitimate a range of monetary and investment activities are identified. Yet we find that persistent individualization of responsibility for failures and shortcomings with ‘live’ blockchain experimentation have consistently undermined the potential for applications of this technology to legitimate financial activities. Combining a reliance on technological fixes with a persistent individualist moral economy, we conclude, undermines efforts to confront head-on the tensions underpinning the on-going legitimacy crises facing finance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalFinance and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2019


  • blockchain, cryptocurrency, technology, legitimacy, scandal

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