The fuzzy ideological and social space of the cryptomarkets: Libertarian ideology, agorism and exchange performances

Andreas Zaunseder, Angus Bancroft

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Cryptomarkets are now well established platforms of illicit drug distribution. There is an assumption often implicit in some of the research on the topic, and much of the commentary in the media and by market users themselves, that they represent an unfettered, perfect anarcho-capitalist or libertarian competitive market. There is a paradox here: the cryptomarkets need the Tor darknet to function, which is maintained by the efforts of a charitable foundation and many volunteers. In this chapter we go 'behind the curtain' of markets' self-presentation and introduce a new approach to examine the varied ideologies invoked by users and the discourse in which they are presented. Central to this is the multiple role of ‘agorism’, which is a libertarian ideology and also a commitment to a civic space. This is the double nature of the cryptomarkets: like all markets they are both economic and socio-political. We present them as fuzzy spaces, which mediate the illicit drug supply chain and that are also productive of discourse and representations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrogen, Darknet und Organisierte Kriminalität
Subtitle of host publicationHerausforderungen für Politik, Justiz und Drogenhilfe
EditorsMeropi Tzanetakis, Heino Stöver
PublisherNomos
Pages137-160
ISBN (Print)9783848739981
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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