Decrypting Cryptocurrency

Digital communication technologies hold the possibility of re-orienting the way we exchange value and think about money. Do digital currencies like Bitcoin have the ability to change the global economic order? Can machine learning, automation, and cryptocurrencies unleash exponential innovations that unseat the financial institutions at the top of the monetary pyramid?


In Extraenvironmentalist #92 we first speak with Paul Vigna about his new book The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order to discuss how the Bitcoin currency and the blockchain distributed ledger system are laying the groundwork for alternatives to today’s monetary system. Then, we talk about the potential influence of exponential technologies on education, learning and other areas of the economy with Jim Jubelirer.

// Books

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey

//Clips (in order of appearance)

Full Story: on Bitcoin
Bitcoin vs. Banks
This Money’s so Safe, You’ll Never Touch It

// Music (in order of appearance)

Postiljonen – Supreme (Niva Remix) via Soundcloud
Future Elevators – Modern World via The Planet of Sound
Rodriguez – Hate Street Dialogue (GingerAle Remix) via IndieShuffle

// Production Credits and Notes

Our editor Kevin via Sustainable Guidance Youtube Channel

Episode #92 was supported by donations from the following generous listeners:

Kathryn in Washington
Erin in Vermont
Robert in Kansas
Lee in Arizona

Cross-posted from the

1 Comment Decrypting Cryptocurrency

  1. AvatarAnonymous

    I guess the advocates of cryptocurrency aren’t really interested in helping the people who are left poor by the mainstream banking system, because they duck the problem that this new currency is even more inequitably distributed. In fact, it’s designed to be expensive to create/mine, which disenfranchises the poor from the start. There are ways that less-affluent persons can buy cryptocurrency from the affluent creators, but poor people don’t buy it because they don’t have real money to gamble with. I’ve heard of a cryptocurrency system that’s supposed to be fair because people with access to a computer and with some online skills, and whom also happened to be around at its launch, could have acquired thousands of units for free in a big giveaway, until it was all given away. But the outcome was that the organizers and their affluent friends each got thousands of units. They obviously could have simply offered one coin to each person that signed up, forever, which obviously would have accomplished the most equitable distribution possible. But making a fair system must not be the goal. Currency systems that prevent corrupt manipulation of distribution solve one problem of the mainstream system, and blockchain presents that possibility, but so far its been used to facilitate greed. In any event, corrupt distribution is a problem that was solved long ago by designs that permit community oversight, and community oversight also allows volume of currency to be adjusted to meet market demand, which cryptocurrency is designed to not do because scarcity boosts speculation. There’s excellent free software that’s permitted thousands of communities to create these good currencies and trade them. But we don’t hear anything about that from crypto advocates, and I guess that’s because their goal is promoting their casino economy.

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