Nistler CoBPA Faculty Research

Celebrate the impact of our research.

Dr. Mark Jendrysik presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies at East Lansing MI, November 2019

Mark Jendrysik

Dr. Mark Jendrysik presented his research “The (Imaginary) Reconstruction of Capitalism: Crypto-currency and Libertarian Utopia,” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies in East Lansing, MI in November 2019.


The rise of Bitcoin and other forms of crypto-currency are part of the recurrence of the dream of a libertarian utopia. Crypto-currency promises a means to avoid the intervention of the state, a means to allow individuals to assign value to exchanges between them, and a means to make all transactions purely voluntary, since no one will be or should be obliged to accept a means of exchange. Proponents of such means of exchange believe they can break the state’s monopoly on setting the terms of exchange.

In many ways, crypto-currencies are nothing new. Individuals have always agreed to place value on many sorts of objects and have freely traded among themselves on freely agreed upon terms. But reliance on trust has its limits, particularly in electronic transactions. Bitcoin promises that systems can overcome the need for direct, interpersonal trust and allow for large scale transactions to occur without the need for state regulation.

In this paper I consider how crypto-currencies fit within libertarian utopian theory. I consider their growth and whether these forms of exchange really represent liberation from coercion