“Technologies of Relational Finance, i.e. #cryptocurrency” is the focus of my Spring semester course (MED512) [#bitcoin #blockchain #fintech]

Banksy Bitcoin graffiti spotted in Paris- R.I.P. Fiat. via Reddit

This is the beginning of my research on cryptocurrency circles in Turkey. The course will have many guests from the industry. I offer the main reading list and all readings given in the links are education purposes who will disappear gradually. There will be additional news sharing and readings. I recommend the syllabus link to keep up with the changes;)


Lecturer: Assoc. Prof. Erkan Saka

Schedule: Wednesday 19:00-22:00 S-E1.204 (santralistanbul campus)


This course focuses on particular theoretical topics that emerge in the ever-growing literature on cybercultures. In the 2018 Spring Semester special emphasis is given to “Technologies of Relational Finance, i.e. cryptocurrencies.” The readings focus on qualitative perspectives with theoretical readings and case study investigations. In addition to theoretical studies, we will host guests from the industry, we are going to create a wiki resource and will keep a tab on the relevant news on a subreddit.

Course readings:

New Readings might be added eventually. Additional website and blog writings will be offered weekly.

Week 1- 21 February

Introduction – Overview of syllabus

Week 2 – 28 February

An Overview

Maurer, B. (2006). The anthropology of money. Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 35, 15-36.

Week 3 – 7 March


Maurer, B. (2002). Repressed futures: financial derivatives’ theological unconscious. Economy and society, 31(1), 15-36.

Maurer, B. (2012). Mobile money: Communication, consumption and change in the payments space. Journal of Development Studies, 48(5), 589-604.

Week 4 – 14 March


Maurer, B., Nelms, T. C., & Swartz, L. (2013). “When perhaps the real problem is money itself!”: the practical materiality of Bitcoin. Social Semiotics, 23(2), 261-277.

Mai, F., Bai, Q., Shan, Z., Wang, X., & Chiang, R. (2015). From bitcoin to big coin: The impacts of social media on bitcoin performance. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Week 5 – 21 March


Kenney, M., & Zysman, J. (2016). The rise of the platform economy. Issues in Science and Technology, 32(3), 61.

Vlasov, A. (2017). The evolution of e-money. European Research Studies Journal, 20(1), 215-224.

Week 6 – 28March


Richey, S. (2007). Manufacturing trust: Community currencies and the creation of social capital. Political Behavior, 29(1), 69-88

Grabner-Kräuter, S. (2009). Web 2.0 social networks: the role of trust. Journal of business ethics, 90(4), 505-522.

Maurer, B. (2012). Payment: Forms and functions of value transfer in contemporary society. Cambridge Anthropology, 30(2), 15.

Week 7 – 4 April


Scott, B. (2016). How can cryptocurrency and blockchain technology play a role in building social and solidarity finance?(No. 2016-1). UNRISD Working Paper.

Kleineberg, K. K., & Helbing, D. (2016). A “Social Bitcoin” could sustain a democratic digital world. The European Physical Journal Special Topics, 225(17-18), 3231-3241.

Week 8- 11 April


Smith, J. W. (2016). The uber-all economy of the future. The Independent Review, 20(3), 383-390.

Botsman, R. (2010). The everday entrepreneur. RSA Journal, 156(5544), 28-29.

Week 9 – 18 April

Moral Panics

Brown, S. D. (2016). Cryptocurrency and criminality: The Bitcoin opportunity. The Police Journal, 89(4), 327-339.

Gehl, R. W. (2016). Power/freedom on the dark web: A digital ethnography of the Dark Web Social Network. new media & society, 18(7), 1219-1235.

Week 10 – 2 May

Most recent problematizations

Future of Money Research Collaborative:, Nelms, T. C., Maurer, B., Swartz, L., & Mainwaring, S. (2017). Social payments: Innovation, trust, Bitcoin, and the sharing economy. Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276417746466.

Tooker, L., & Clarke, C. (2017). Experiments in relational finance: Harnessing the social in everyday debt and credit. Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276417746465.

Week 11 -9 May

Most recent problematizations

Dodd, N. (2017). The social life of Bitcoin. Theory, culture & society, 0263276417746464.

Clarke, C., & Tooker, L. (2018). Social Finance Meets Financial Innovation: Contemporary Experiments in Payments, Money and Debt. Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276417746467.

Week 12 – 16 May

Student Presentations from the Supplementary Readings bundle.

Week 13 – 23 May

Student Presentations from the Supplementary Readings bundle.



Four assignments: 40%

A term paper or term project participation: 60%

The term paper should be around 5000 words. All assignments will be written according to APA style, Times New Roman, 12 font, double-spaced, with a cover page indicating the course’s  name, the title of the research method chosen,  the student’s name, student id number, and instructor’s name.

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