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26-29 May 2015
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Research-in-Progress Paper

Fürstenberghaus -
01 - The Networked Society

"A Bad Apple Went Away": Exploring Resilience among Bitcoin Entrepreneurs


  • Marcel MORISSE

Primary authors



The emerging digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin has made waves in mainstream media across the globe, as have the numerous extreme events that have rocked it. One such event, the bankruptcy of a prominent Bitcoin exchange called Mt.Gox, particularly shocked the emerging sociotechnical field. However, it is not clear how the numerous entrepreneurial firms operating in this field survived this shock. Studies of resilience in the face of extreme events have typically examined mature firms, characterised by formal structures and some slack resources. In such studies, the resilience, adaptability and trans-formability of the firm come into view. A new firm in an emergent field, however, is equally driven to survive – but must do so with far more limited resources, without a formal structure and little in the way of organisational learning. In our study, we find that such entrepreneurial firms rely on their col-lective identity in forming resilient responses. Furthermore, one outcome of this shock was a call for regulations and oversight – despite earlier dogmatic rejections of such formal control.