11 Jul '13, 11am

The (a)political economy of Bitcoin

A short essay (co-authored with Michel Bauwens) which serves as a point of departure for a P2P Lab ‘s oncoming research project: Bitcoin emerged as an incarnation of the fantasy of “apolitical” money, i.e., a currency of the people, by the people, for the people, as Varoufakis eloquently puts it. We are not going to describe what Bitcoin is or how it was created as this has been done in detail elsewhere . First things first: there is no such thing as apolitical – even being ostensibly “apolitical” is a political stance–, therefore, a “de-politicised currency” is not possible. Bitcoin is premised on scarcity and wherever you have scarcity, power structures emerge. For instance, we are observing the creation of a “Bitcoin aristocracy” consisted of those who entered the Bitcoin ecology early and/or those who own the so-called “monster machines ”. For this and various other re...

Full article: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/the-apolitical-economy-of-b...

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