BITCOIN: A TECHNOLOGY-INFLUENCED SOCIAL MOVEMENT

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Authors
Johnson, Jason D.
Green, Terrance D.
Subjects
social movement theory
SMT
Bitcoin
cryptocurrency
cryptocurrencies
digital assets
blockchain
smart contracts
privacy
protest
Libra
SOCOM
China
Iran
Russia
DPRK
non-state actors
Advisors
Maness, Ryan
Date of Issue
12
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Over the past decade, the Bitcoin-inspired cryptocurrency industry and blockchain technology have continued to evolve and reshape the global financial industry, despite resistance from state governments to prevent the adoption of the alternative payment system. The academic study of Bitcoin by various social science disciplines and fields of law has predominantly focused on the nefarious use of cryptocurrency and the potential threat the technology could pose to national security by lessening U.S. economic influence. This thesis takes a more holistic approach in examining Bitcoin using social movement theory to answer two research questions: How can social movement theory explain the evolution of Bitcoin and blockchain technology in the near term and long term? What interest should U.S. Special Operations Command have in Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) and blockchain technology? Social movement theory helps address these questions by providing a comprehensive method for understanding why the creation and adoption of Bitcoin is a form of protest against the financial industry, in general, and the global financial order. The Bitcoin-led social change occurring suggests that the U.S. Department of Defense should seek opportunities to lead the integration and adoption of the technology to maintain, as well as support, future U.S. policy interests.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
Defense Analysis (DA)
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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