2 Thesis Vacancies

I am looking for two Masters students who are interested in writing their thesis on blockchain/cryptocurrencies.

One thesis project focuses on how blockchain/cryptocurrencies relate to other forms of non-state issued currency such as Melanesian shell money or Micronesian stone money. The student is free to design their thesis, including theoretical framework and research questions, broadly around this theme, though I encourage you to use a sociotechnical or technologie culturelle approach to this topic. This will entail the creation of a detailed operational sequence (chaîne opératoire) of blockchains informed by (online) interviews with blockchain developers and ideally, participation in with the act of coding itself. The comparison with other forms of non-state issued currency will likely only be based on a literature review, unless there are significant changes with regards to COVID19 travel restrictions.

The second thesis project considers how blockchain/cryptocurrencies are being integrated into disaster response mechanisms. The primary case study would, ideally, be Vanuatu where blockchain technology has just been used to facilitate aid payments to families affected by cyclones and related disasters. The theoretical focus for this project is open. Methodologically and considering COVID19 travel restrictions, you will likely focus on interviewing (remotely) aid workers involved in implementing the project. You can learn some more about this case here.

Prerequisites

  • You can be a MSc student from any programme that allows for an SDC thesis, including, in my particular case, MID-Politics and Governance.
  • You should have an interest in anthropological theoretical and methodological approaches and have some familiarity with, and training in, qualitative research methods and have
  • You do not have to know how to code, but you should be open to learn, through participant observation, at least some of the basics

For more information and to discuss possibilities please contact Stephanie Hobbis (stephanie.hobbis@wur.nl)

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