Blockchain assemblages: whiteboxing technology and transforming infrastructural imaginaries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

In this paper we unpack empirical data from two domains within the Blockchain information infrastructure: The cryptocurrency trading domain, and the energy domain. Through these accounts we introduce the relational concepts of Blockchain Assemblages and Whiteboxing. Blockchain assemblages comprise configurations of digital and analogue artefacts that are entangled with imaginaries about the current and future state of the Blockchain information infrastructure. Rather than being a black box, Blockchain assemblages alternate between being dynamic and stable entities. We propose Whiteboxing as the sociomaterial process which drives blockchain assemblages in their dynamic state to be (re)configured, while related artefacts and imaginaries are simultaneously transformed, creating dynamic representations. Whiteboxing is triggered during disconfirming events when representations are discovered as problematic. Complementing existing historical accounts demonstrating technologies in the making, the contribution of this paper, proposes whiteboxing as an analytical concept which allows us to unpack how contemporary technologies are created through entrepreneurial activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages13
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2019
Article number266
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359702
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019


Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
LandUnited Kingdom

    Research areas

  • Assemblages, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Embeddedness, Entrepreneurship, Information infrastructures, Renewable energy, Sociomaterial

ID: 223455324