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Abstract

This article examines the labor power of digital miners. Though an obscure and still incipient facet of the digital economy, crypto-mining powers and secures transactions across blockchains, or public distributed digital ledgers. Drawing from interviews with cryptocurrency enthusiasts, blockchain advocates, and developers; participation in online and offline discussions; and a survey with small-scale crypto-miners, this article takes on the material and technoscientific valuation of crypto-mining to understand how a future of open, decentralized accountability implicates human labor alongside automated processes. The work of digital mining, performed in the work of inscribing, registering, and politically organizing mining operations, enables the formation of democratic communities in the digital economy and remains inevitably embedded in social relations as a mode of productive, meaningful action.

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