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Just HODL? On the Moral Claims of Bitcoin and Ripple Users


Money has come a long way from the substances and shapes it had in antiquity and early modernity to the ever more ephemeral forms it took on in the last decades. A further step in this direction to an increasingly virtual world of finance is digital money. Amongst digital currencies, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the many hundred altcoins created lately, stand out because of the challenge they pose to the conventional contour and conception of monetary systems. In addition to private banks and the public hand, via cryptocurrencies now also individuals emerge as emitters of currency. Whereas formerly the sovereignty over the issuance of money was anchored locally or nationally, backed by tangible private or public institutions, cryptocurrencies immediately surface globally within the intangible cyberspace of the worldwide web. In this novel realm of money, the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ripple stand for two different approaches to the question as to which impact money ought to have in people’s lives, and as to how individuals in turn can influence the nature and future of money. The article discusses the moral claims of these rivaling conceptions.

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Correspondence to Claus Dierksmeier.

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The author holds about a dozen altcoins, amongst them both Bitcoin and Ripple. The opinions expressed in this article are not meant as, or to be construed as, investment advice.

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Dierksmeier, C. Just HODL? On the Moral Claims of Bitcoin and Ripple Users. Humanist Manag J 3, 127–131 (2018).

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  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Bitcoin
  • Ripple
  • digital money