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Research Articles

Vol. 2 No. 2 (2020)

‘Blockchain Good, Bitcoin Bad’: The Social Construction of Blockchain in Mainstream and Specialized Media

February 5, 2020
2020-09-04 — Updated on 2020-09-04


Blockchain is one of the most widely debated technologies in recent years. Pundits and scholars have described it as a disruptive technology that will impact many sectors of society. Skeptics argue blockchain’s popularity is fuelled by the media’s obsession for the ‘next big thing’ rather than the intrinsic potential of the technology. In this paper, we follow a social constructivist approach with the aim of explaining how different discourses are creating new meanings about this technology. As Communication scholars, we focus on the role media play in framing debates about blockchain. Our analysis relies on a human coding of the most popular news about blockchain circulating on Twitter from October 2014 to July 2018. The findings show the general attitude about blockchain is predominantly positive. The discourses developing around crypto technologies are complex and multifaceted and indicate a general transition in the rhetorical definition of blockchain.