Abstract

In recent years, the Bitcoin community has collectively developed an open source platform that allows for the mining of the Bitcoin currency as well as instant global peer-to-peer payments and financial transactions using Bitcoins - without any central authority. As the Bitcoin community has grown, an ecosystem of entrepreneurs and start-ups supporting the currency scheme has developed. Examining the Bitcoin Foundation and the results of the most active members on the Bitcoin forum revealed that entrepreneurs developing their business based on Bitcoin are an extremely active group within both the formal and informal organization of Bitcoin. We explore the Bitcoin community to better understand how this emergent, self-organizing online collective is acting as a game changer within the global financial industry and the role of entrepreneurs in enabling this. Since our early research results indicated a high degree of involvement by entrepreneurs in the Bitcoin community, we are particularly interested in investigating the different Bitcoin businesses entrepreneurs are establishing that enable the community to act as an institutional entrepreneur.

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