Theory of Change Podcast With Matthew Sheffield
Theory of Change #057: David Golumbia on the political ideology behind Bitcoin and crypto

Theory of Change #057: David Golumbia on the political ideology behind Bitcoin and crypto

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“The personal is political” was one of the early rallying cries of the Second Wave feminist movement. Decades later, the universal adoption of the internet has led to a new culture around cryptocurrencies with an ethos that could be summarized via similar phrasing: “The personal financial is political.”

After decades of languishing in rightful obscurity, extreme forms of anti-government libertarianism have seen a massive influx of converts by melding crank views about the Federal Reserve and fiat currency with a desire to get rich quick through buying and selling made-up digital tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, even joke ones like Dogecoin.

Most people don’t understand how cryptocurrencies work as a technical matter. But they also don’t understand the politics behind cryptocurrencies either. That’s a serious problem because underneath all the hype is a radical anti-government ideology that seeks not just to overthrow government currency but even democracy itself.

For this discussion, we’re featuring David Golombia, the author of the book, “The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right Wing Extremism.” He’s also a professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.


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Theory of Change is hosted by Matthew Sheffield about larger trends and intersections of politics, religion, media, and technology. It's part of the Flux network, a new content community of podcasters and writers. Please visit us at flux.community to learn more and to tell us about what you're doing. We're constantly growing and learning from the great people we meet.

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Matthew Sheffield on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattsheffield

Theory of Change Podcast With Matthew Sheffield
Lots of people want to change the world. But how does change happen? Join Matthew Sheffield and his guests as they explore larger trends and intersections in politics, religion, technology, and media.