Republished from Soundcloud.com
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto published a revolutionary white paper that described a simple peer-to-peer electronic cash system that would later become Bitcoin. In the decade since the launch of the digital currency, the nascent blockchain technology behind Bitcoin has been heralded as having the same radical potential as the printing press or the Internet, in particular presenting extraordinary challenges to traditional banking. Yet the paper contains no reference to existing political ideas, monetary or economic knowledge. Why?
THE WHITE PAPER, with an introduction by James Bridle, situates Bitcoin within an obscure historical movement of decentralisation, powered by the ideologies of encryption, showing how blockchain is part of a wider project to redraw the maps of political possibility. Crypto-economist Jaya Klara Brekke’s guide analyses Nakamoto’s canonical text as the Rosetta Stone that reveals the far-reaching implications of decentralisation.
In this discussion held at Foyles on 4 February 2019, Jaya sits down with Ben Vickers and Paul Mason to discuss how Nakamoto’s White Paper can serve as a compass for the rapidly shifting terrain of contemporary techno-politics.