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  • crypto-proofs

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geoforum. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoforum, 122, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.12.019

    Accepted author manuscript, 417 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 14/04/23

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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Uneven Development, Crypto-regionalism, and the (Un-)tethering of Nature in Quebec

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Geoforum
Volume122
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)63-73
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date14/04/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Since emerging in 2009, cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, have captured the imaginations of many investors and users in accumulating private wealth detached from government control and oversight. This article examines how the rise of bitcoin has particular geographies and trajectories of uneven development across the globe. The generation (or mining ) of cryptocurrencies is computationally-intensive, requiring computer hardware, cool air and cheap energy. Adopting the case study of Quebec, Canada, we show how these variables interact to produce a relationship between digital currencies, economic imaginaries and space in the regions where cryptomining is clustered. We argue that these new geographies of cryptocurrency mining leave residual marks on the regions where they are located but remain highly mobile moving from location to location in search of the cheap energy that supports private accumulation. Adopting an illustrative case study of Quebec, Canada, we work to render visible the materiality of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. Far from existing both nowhere and everywhere, the generation of bitcoin is foregrounded in local contexts and regional economic imaginaries with both spatial and social implications for the cities and towns where cryptomining takes place. We conclude with a call for further research into this emergent crypto-regionalism and its consequences.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geoforum. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoforum, 122, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.12.019