Cryptoanarchism

Cryptoanarchism or cyberanarchism is a political ideology the aim of which is to achieve the protection of privacy, political freedom and economic freedom through the use of cryptography and crypto assets. Cryptoanarchism sees itself as a reaction to the overreach of governments and the state into the private and financial lives of citizens and asserts the need for so-called total freedom.

  • Total anonymity of individuals in the digital spaces
  • Total freedom of speech without censorship or moderation
  • Total freedom to trade without regulation or protections

The idea revolves around the politics that individuals are self-sovereign and that the internet or cyberspace as a whole is an independent territory outside the remit and regulation of governments. This is outlined in the seminal writing by cryptoanarchist leader John Barlow in his writing A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.

The ideas behind bitcoin can be traced to another seminal work, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto.

See also anarchocapitalism, libertarianism and post-state technocracy.

References

  1. May, Tim. 1994. ‘Cyphernomicon’.
  2. May, Timothy. 1992. ‘The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto’. High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace.
  3. Barlow, John Perry. 2019. ‘A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’. Duke Law & Technology Review 18 (1): 5–7.
  4. Greenberg, Andy. 2012. This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers. Penguin Randon House. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/309904/this-machine-kills-secrets-by-andy-greenberg/.
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  12. Wolf, Martin. 2019. ‘The Libertarian Fantasies of Cryptocurrencies’. Financial Times, February. https://www.ft.com/content/eeeacd7c-2e0e-11e9-ba00-0251022932c8.
  13. Anderson, Patrick D. 2021. ‘Privacy for the Weak, Transparency for the Powerful: The Cypherpunk Ethics of Julian Assange’. Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3): 295–308. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-020-09571-x.
  14. Beltramini, Enrico. 2020. ‘Trust, Finance and Cryptocurrencies’. In Anarchism, Organization and Management, 184–95. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315172606-19.
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  17. Curran, Giorel, and Morgan Gibson. 2013. ‘WikiLeaks, Anarchism and Technologies of Dissent’. Antipode 45 (2): 294–314. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.01009.x.
  18. DuPont, Isaac Quinn. 2017. ‘An Archeology of Cryptography: Rewriting Plaintext, Encryption, and Ciphertext’. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. PhD Thesis, University of Toronto (Canada). https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/78958.
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  21. Gürses, Seda, Arun Kundnani, and Joris Van Hoboken. 2016. ‘Crypto and Empire: The Contradictions of Counter-Surveillance Advocacy’. Media, Culture and Society 38 (4): 576–90. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443716643006.
  22. Hellegren, Isadora. 2020. ‘Crypto-Discourse, Internet Freedom, and the State’. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. https://oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228613-e-887.
  23. Hellegren, Z. Isadora. 2017. ‘A History of Crypto-Discourse: Encryption as a Site of Struggles to Define Internet Freedom’. Internet Histories 1 (4): 285–311. https://doi.org/10.1080/24701475.2017.1387466.
  24. Jarvis, Craig. 2021. ‘Cypherpunk Ideology: Objectives, Profiles, and Influences (1992–1998)’. Internet Histories, 1–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/24701475.2021.1935547.
  25. Phillips, David J. 1998. Digital Cash and the Surveillance Society: Negotiating Identification in New Consumer Payment Systems. University of Pennsylvania. https://search.proquest.com/openview/7ca922683fe4b5a94427e0ba59af4def/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y.
  26. West, Sarah Myers. 2018. ‘Cryptographic Imaginaries and the Networked Public’. Internet Policy Review 7 (2): 1–16. https://doi.org/10.14763/2018.2.792.
  27. ———. 2020. ‘Survival of the Cryptic: Tracing Technological Imaginaries across Ideologies, Infrastructures, and Community Practices’. New Media and Society, 1461444820983017. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444820983017.