Patterns of Self-Organising in the Bitcoin Online Community: Code Forking as Organising in Digital Infrastructure

Jonas Valbjørn Andersen, Claire Ingram Bogusz

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Digital infrastructures play an increasingly central role in shaping existing organisations and creating new ones. Research on digital infrastructure has rested on the assumption that infrastructures are developed to support pre-existing organised activities. However, with new digital infrastructures supporting open source projects and blockchain communities such as Bitcoin, development of the technological infrastructure also gives rise to a new way of self-organising. Specifically, forking of the underlying source code and subsequent community adoption is increasingly observed to trigger new patterns of self-organising. In order to explore and develop this concept, this paper investigates a case of such distributed digital community: the emergence of the Bitcoin community around a specific instantiation of the Blockchain infrastructure. Our study examines how the community emerges, and how changes in the source code lead to different patterns of self-organising. The paper develops a conceptual framework of self-organising in distributed communities emerging around digital infrastructures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICIS Proceedings
Number of pages20
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Information Systems - Seoul , Korea, Republic of
Duration: 6 Dec 2017 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Systems
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Period06/12/2017 → …


  • Digital infrastructures
  • Self-organising
  • Blockchain
  • Open source projects
  • Bitcoin community


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