Monday, 26 June 2017

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The Politics of Bitcoin

May 26, 2017
in Blog

David Golumbia has a new book titled The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism. It has received less than stellar reviews from Duke University’s Mike Munger and Bitcoin Magazine’s  Giulio Prisco. So, perhaps I am just piling on. But pile on I must.

Here’s the short version:

Many see bitcoin as a clever piece of code; an alternative payment mechanism; or a proof-of-concept for the underlying blockchain technology. David Golumbia sees it as right-wing extremism. In his new book, The Politics of Bitcoin, Golumbia argues that bitcoin was designed to “satisfy needs that make sense only in the context of right-wing politics”; that “Bitcoin enthusiasts repackage material from [right-wing extremist] writers almost verbatim” and, as such, “Bitcoin serves […] to spread and firmly root” the right-wing ideology. But the overall narrative put forward by Golumbia breaks down when one scratches the surface.

You can read my full review here.