Academic collaboration collective

UCI has connected with a network of Social Science researchers working and writing on the social impact of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain research from a variety of angles. This collective brings together a group of researchers currently engaged in ethnographic fieldwork across multiple sites in the transnational cryptocurrency community and blockchain industry. Topics considered include money, payment, financial markets, and cultures of speculation, supply chain security and energy logistics, development and human rights monitoring, law and contracts, and labor, data, and identity management.

Some members presented together on a roundtable at the 117th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association titled "No Small Change: Doing Anthropology in a Bitcoin Bubble", co-sponsored by the Society for Economic Anthropology and the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.

Gretchen Bakke - Humboldt University, Berlin


Margie Cheesman


Margie Cheesman is a digital anthropologist based at the University of Oxford's Internet Institute. Her doctoral research examines the use of blockchain technologies in humanitarianism and development. Margie's research interests include digital identity, inequality and rights. She has previously worked for the civil liberties initiative, Open Migration, and conducted research with organisations such as the GSMA Mobile for Development group and InfoMigrants. As a researcher at the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change (CReSC) (2013-16) she evaluated digital strategies for international cultural diplomacy and news provision. Margie is the editorial assistant for ARITHMUS publications such as Data Politics: Worlds, Subjects, Rights (Routledge 2019) and Data Practices (forthcoming).



Filipe Calvão - The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Jamie Cross - University of Edinburgh

Quinn DuPont - 

Susan Falls

Elizabeth Ferry - 

Dilek Genc - University of Edinburgh

Peter Graif - Open Institute for Social Science in Kathmandu, Nepal

Nikolas Guggenberger

Liviu Mantescu

Omri Marian


Enrique Martino

Enrique Martino is a Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Fellow at the Complutense University of Madrid, and holds a PhD from the Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is researching the uptake of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria and completing a book on value and money among the Fang of Equatorial Guinea. His published articles include "Irrationality and speculation in finance" (HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory); “Dash-peonage: The contradictions of debt bondage” (Africa); “Panya: Economies of deception” (African Economic History); “Open sourcing the colonial archive” (History in Africa); and "Clandestine Recruitment Networks in the Bight of Biafra" (International Review of Social History). 


Bill Maurer - UC Irvine

Mark Munar

Taylor Nelms - Filene Research 

Rachel O'Dwyer - Trinity College Dublin

Don Patterson - 

Joe Quick

Farah Qureshi - UC Irvine

Stevie Rea 

Jerry Shen

Melissa Wrapp - UC Irvine


For further information or to join this research group, please contact Farah Qureshi on


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