Available for pre-order. This item will be available on October 17, 2023.
Wherever you look money is being replaced by tokens. These are digital assets, issued by the platforms, that can be traded, but also offer news types of relationships, forms of ownership as well as governance. Bitcoin, Dogecoin, facebook’s proposed Libra, as well as other forms of value such as air time, special access, data are the new money within an evolving economy. Platforms are now paying in tokens rather than cash – Amazon’s Mechanical Turk offers gift cards, M-Pesa trades in phone calls. But is this a liberation or a dangerous warning of the future?
What does it mean when Platforms become the new banks? Tokens opens up this new world and warns that we are unwittingly welcoming new forms of surveillance and discipline. O Dwyer argues that this challenges the balance of power between on the online empires and the state. In effect, the platforms determine the value and the methods of exchange, or allow the value of the asset to be speculated over. They are siphoning vast wealth and power with few regulations. In response, O' Dwyer argues that money's really transformative power comes when we consider it as a 'commons', produced and held collectively.
“Rachel O'Dwyer offers an introduction to the politics of modern tech darlings: from cryptocurrency to Web3. [Tokens] explores the future of money, which O'Dwyer points out is increasingly "being replaced by tokens", and questions what it means when digital platforms become the new banks. While these tokens offer new types of relationships, ownership, and governance, O'Dwyer warns that they also usher in novel forms of surveillance and discipline.”