Crypto communities as legal orders

Catalina Goanta*, Marieke Hopman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Several crypto communities have claimed to have revolutionary potential and to present a possible alternative to the state legal order. In this paper, we first mention three different generations of crypto communities, revealing their shared narrative, before focusing on the Silk Road dark web marketplace. Based on the qualitative content analysis of the Silk Road forum, we look into whether this platform should be understood as a legal order, a revolutionary movement, or simply a capitalist marketplace. Lastly, the article includes a short discussion of the question whether or not an online platform such as the Silk Road poses a serious challenge for state sovereignty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternet Policy Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


  • Silk Road
  • Legal pluralism
  • Crypto communities
  • Cryptography
  • Cyberspace
  • LAW

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