Marketing without trust? Blockchain technologies in the sharing economy as assemblage and pharmakon

Paul Haynes, Joel Hietanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blockchain technologies are of great interest to marketers uncovering opportunities emerging in the context of the sharing economy. The novel appeal of blockchain is that it provides an immutable audit trail of digital tokens and contracts via a peer-to-peer (P2P) network without the need for a market intermediary. It thus enables digitally mediated exchange without the need for a trusted central authority or third party, affording an infrastructure for a variety of applications. To unpack these characteristics, we explain how blockchain technologies facilitate sharing beyond its role as a technological protocol and how it instead operates as a social machine. We explore these implications for marketing philosophically through the lenses of assemblage and pharmakon. We identify two productive contradictions for marketers: 1) how marketing with blockchain technologies in the sharing economy challenges past institutional roles of marketers and seeks to eradicate them, and 2) how these technologies produce a new notion of capitalized sociality devoid of trust.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113940
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date17 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Blockchain Technology
  • sharing economy
  • assemblage
  • pharmakon
  • philosophy
  • Deleuze and Guattari
  • Bernard Stiegler

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