chapter  7
Governing what wasn’t meant to be governed
A controversy-based approach to the study of Bitcoin governance
ByFrancesca Musiani, Alexandre Mallard, Cécile Méadel
Pages 24

This chapter tackles the question of Bitcoin governance from a perspective grounded in science and technology studies, in particular the sociology of socio-technical controversies. It utilizes the term “socio-technical controversy” to refer to every debate questioning the distinction between the technical and social elements involved in an issue, exploring the boundary between the known and the uncertain, and transforming the components of the issue as well as the networks of entities involved. The chapter adopts a science and technology studies (STS) informed controversy-analysis perspective to examine in which ways, as the manifold facets of the digital currency developed, the issue of governance has been at the center of different problematizations, at the articulation of technology, economy, and politics. It relies on a qualitative exploration of a corpus of press articles and expert contributions, having Bitcoin as their core subject from its birth to the present day.