MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Virtualizing diaspora: new digital technologies in the emerging transnational space


Global Networks

Published online on


--- - |2 Abstract Since new distributed ledger technologies hold out a promise to restructure cross‐border flows of people and material resources, they affect globalization and alter transnational spaces. Their capacity to facilitate secure and disintermediated value transfer through crypto‐code and smart contracts enables novel forms of remittance transfer, resource management and digital identity verification – and may also generate new vulnerabilities. In this article, we examine the use of emerging blockchain applications in various migration and diaspora related initiatives in the emerging economies of Africa, Asia and Europe. By building on existing social networks of mutual obligation and quasi‐ethnic affinities, blockchain technologies may facilitate the ability to enlarge the scope of diasporas and change the nature of belonging, sovereignty, migration and statehood. Through exploring the selective foregrounding of mutuality and materiality in such alternative value transfer systems, we seek to explain the dynamics of trust and agency that these networks generate to extend commitments and loyalties in the transnational space. - 'Global Networks, EarlyView. '