Hey, I Know What This is!": Cultural Affinities and Early Stage Appropriation of the Emerging Bitcoin Technology"
Association for Computing Machinery
User appropriation can be immensely helpful to bootstrap emerging technologies; but how do new and lesser known technologies attract these earliest adopters? This paper investigates user appropriation of emerging computing technologies, by focusing on Bitcoin, a digital monetary system supported by a peer-to-peer network of computing devices. We conducted in-depth interviews with sixteen Bitcoin community participants in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Baltimore. We describe user appropriation in this case of Bitcoin as a sociocultural journey-from encounter, research and learning, to socialization. We contribute the concept of cultural affinities, including conceptual, contextual and social dimensions, as important mediators leading to early-stage user appropriation.