This website serves as a portal into all things blockchain and cryptocurrency at UC Irvine.
Since 2011, researchers at UC Irvine have been studying new cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as well as the blockchain technologies on which they are based. We have done so alongside research on innovations in mobile and digital financial services and their social, economic, and political consequences for people’s lives.
Blockchain and similar systems represent the leading edge of a much longer, global history of accounting—the way humans keep track of reciprocal obligations, distribute and redistribute resources, preserve collective memory, and negotiate authority. Blockchain technology touches, in short, on reckoning in all of its senses, from mathematical to moral. We thus see cryptocurrencies and blockchain as the latest contributions to a vast archive of money’s diverse forms and functions: Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets and Inka khipu, double-entry and distributed ledgers, mag stripes and mobile wallets.
We are an interdisciplinary group of social scientists, legal scholars, and technologists. From our vantage point in the public university, we study the implications of these new technologies, ranging from human rights monitoring to financial markets, supply chain management to contracts and identity.
We write. We educate. We convene experts from inside and outside academia to explore the prehistories and possible futures of new technology. We contribute unique insights to the scholarly, industry, policy, and technology communities. And we invite you to join us as we take the long view, beyond the latest hype cycle or speculative bubble.