“Technologies of Relational Finance, i.e. #cryptocurrency” is the focus of my Spring semester course (MED512) [#bitcoin #blockchain #fintech]

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2018 at 11:16

Banksy Bitcoin graffiti spotted in Paris- R.I.P. Fiat. via Reddit

This is the beginning of my research on cryptocurrency circles in Turkey. The course will have many guests from the industry. I offer the main reading list and all readings given in the links are education purposes who will disappear gradually. There will be additional news sharing and readings. I recommend the syllabus link to keep up with the changes;)


Lecturer: Assoc. Prof. Erkan Saka

Schedule: Wednesday 19:00-22:00 S-E1.204 (santralistanbul campus)


This course focuses on particular theoretical topics that emerge in the ever-growing literature on cybercultures. In the 2018 Spring Semester special emphasis is given to “Technologies of Relational Finance, i.e. cryptocurrencies.” The readings focus on qualitative perspectives with theoretical readings and case study investigations. In addition to theoretical studies, we will host guests from the industry, we are going to create a wiki resource and will keep a tab on the relevant news on a subreddit.

Course readings:

New Readings might be added eventually. Additional website and blog writings will be offered weekly.

Week 1- 21 February

Introduction – Overview of syllabus

Week 2 – 28 February

An Overview

Maurer, B. (2006). The anthropology of money. Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 35, 15-36.

Week 3 – 7 March


Maurer, B. (2002). Repressed futures: financial derivatives’ theological unconscious. Economy and society, 31(1), 15-36.

Maurer, B. (2012). Mobile money: Communication, consumption and change in the payments space. Journal of Development Studies, 48(5), 589-604.

Week 4 – 14 March


Maurer, B., Nelms, T. C., & Swartz, L. (2013). “When perhaps the real problem is money itself!”: the practical materiality of Bitcoin. Social Semiotics, 23(2), 261-277.

Mai, F., Bai, Q., Shan, Z., Wang, X., & Chiang, R. (2015). From bitcoin to big coin: The impacts of social media on bitcoin performance. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Week 5 – 21 March


Kenney, M., & Zysman, J. (2016). The rise of the platform economy. Issues in Science and Technology, 32(3), 61.

Vlasov, A. (2017). The evolution of e-money. European Research Studies Journal, 20(1), 215-224.

Week 6 – 28March


Richey, S. (2007). Manufacturing trust: Community currencies and the creation of social capital. Political Behavior, 29(1), 69-88

Grabner-Kräuter, S. (2009). Web 2.0 social networks: the role of trust. Journal of business ethics, 90(4), 505-522.

Maurer, B. (2012). Payment: Forms and functions of value transfer in contemporary society. Cambridge Anthropology, 30(2), 15.

Week 7 – 4 April


Scott, B. (2016). How can cryptocurrency and blockchain technology play a role in building social and solidarity finance?(No. 2016-1). UNRISD Working Paper.

Kleineberg, K. K., & Helbing, D. (2016). A “Social Bitcoin” could sustain a democratic digital world. The European Physical Journal Special Topics, 225(17-18), 3231-3241.

Week 8- 11 April


Smith, J. W. (2016). The uber-all economy of the future. The Independent Review, 20(3), 383-390.

Botsman, R. (2010). The everday entrepreneur. RSA Journal, 156(5544), 28-29.

Week 9 – 18 April

Moral Panics

Brown, S. D. (2016). Cryptocurrency and criminality: The Bitcoin opportunity. The Police Journal, 89(4), 327-339.

Gehl, R. W. (2016). Power/freedom on the dark web: A digital ethnography of the Dark Web Social Network. new media & society, 18(7), 1219-1235.

Week 10 – 2 May

Most recent problematizations

Future of Money Research Collaborative:, Nelms, T. C., Maurer, B., Swartz, L., & Mainwaring, S. (2017). Social payments: Innovation, trust, Bitcoin, and the sharing economy. Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276417746466.

Tooker, L., & Clarke, C. (2017). Experiments in relational finance: Harnessing the social in everyday debt and credit. Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276417746465.

Week 11 -9 May

Most recent problematizations

Dodd, N. (2017). The social life of Bitcoin. Theory, culture & society, 0263276417746464.

Clarke, C., & Tooker, L. (2018). Social Finance Meets Financial Innovation: Contemporary Experiments in Payments, Money and Debt. Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276417746467.

Week 12 – 16 May

Student Presentations from the Supplementary Readings bundle.

Week 13 – 23 May

Student Presentations from the Supplementary Readings bundle.



Four assignments: 40%

A term paper or term project participation: 60%

The term paper should be around 5000 words. All assignments will be written according to APA style, Times New Roman, 12 font, double-spaced, with a cover page indicating the course’s  name, the title of the research method chosen,  the student’s name, student id number, and instructor’s name.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary


#Cyberculture agenda: “Mueller indictment of a Russian troll farm…

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2018 at 15:52

On Aug. 20, 2016, supporters of the Donald Trump’s presidential campaign attended “Florida Goes Trump” rallies that were held simultaneously in 17 cities across the Sunshine State.

The most chilling aspect of that blockbuster Mueller indictment? The bureaucracy behind Russia’s onslaught.
In the wake of the Mueller indictment of a Russian troll farm, any attempt to claim that the 2016 election wasn’t affected by Russian meddling is laughable.

If you’ve been following the discussion about how Russia meddled with the 2016 U.S. election, the Internet Research Agency is probably a familiar name. But if you haven’t been watching every congressional hearing and reading every report, Friday’s indictment of the Internet Research Agency (as well as two other Russian entities and 13 Russian nationals) offers a good opportunity to look at the Kremlin-backed troll organization—namely, how it attempted to manipulate U.S. voters and what we know about how it works.

The FBI special counsel’s Friday indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three companies including a notorious online troll farm did a few things: It revealed that the surge of grass-roots organizing for the 2016 presidential election was at least partly astroturf. It confirmed that the whirligig of ire directed at Hillary Clinton was not completely genuine. And it reasserted the importance of correct grammar.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary

Turkey orders to release Deniz Yücel and sentences some other journalists to life in jail…

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2018 at 19:27

via Veysel Ok (@shemmoshemmo)

After such allegations and a year without indictment, Mr. Yücel is released. I have used “order” and “sentence” referring to NYT piece below. Of course, Turkish judiciary is independent and there cannot be an order from above…

German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel, who was detained in Turkey a year ago, has been released from jail, German newspaper Die Welt reported on Feb. 16 citing his lawyer.
Turkey sentences journalists to life in jail over coup attempt

Sentencing over alleged role in failed putsch condemned as showing disregard for rule of law

A Turkish court has sentenced six defendants, including three prominent journalists, to life in prison over allegations of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt, drawing fierce condemnation from the UN and press freedom advocates.

Turkey Orders Release of Deniz Yucel, a Journalist

The yearlong detention of Mr. Yucel, who was accused of spreading terrorism-related propaganda, was a source of tension between the governments in Berlin and Ankara.
An Istanbul court on Feb. 16 handed down aggravated life sentences to six defendants, including prominent journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, over “violating the Turkish constitution” in a case against the alleged “media wing” of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
The six were accused of links to preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed for the 2016 coup plot.

Aruş Taş, a silversmith in Istanbul’s historic Grand Bazaar, has witnessed decades of economic and social upheaval. But the crackdown wrought by a failed military coup in 2016 has been among the most wrenching, he says. Friends and

Hürriyet Daily News – Feb 14

The Turkish Labor and Social Security Ministry on Feb. 13 has announced that 27 workers have been killed in the construction of Istanbul’s third airport, disputing recent media reports that 400 workers died in the works. “Some 27 workers

Professional journalist associations have expressed outrage at pro-government Akit TV Presenter Yusuf Ozan after he targeted and threatened Cumhuriyet newspaper by saying: “It is permissible to kill the likes of you.”
CHP İstanbul MP Berberoğlu has been sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison on charge of “making state’s confidential information public” in the trial about the news report on MİT Trucks.
Around 5 million people across Turkey bet illegally and the underground industry is worth around 50 billion liras, daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 15.

Vía Erkan’s Field Diary