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Over the last decade, blockchains and crypto have opened up a new terrain for political action. It is not surprising, however, that the crypto space has also become overrun by unscrupulous marketing, theft and scams. The problem is real, but it isn’t a new one. Capitalism has ruined crypto, but that shouldn’t be the end of it.
Blockchain Radicals shows us how this has happened, and how to fix crypto in a way that is understandable for those who have never owned a cryptocurrency as well as those who are building their own decentralised applications. Covering everything from how Bitcoin saved WikiLeaks to decentralised finance, worker cooperatives, the environmental impact of
Bitcoin and NFTs, and the crypto commons, it shows how these new tools can be used to challenge capitalism and build a better world for all of us.
While crypto is often thought of as being synonymous with unbridled capitalism, Blockchain Radicals shows instead how the technology can and has been used for more radical purposes, beyond individual profit and towards collective autonomy.
Joshua Dávila has been working in the blockchain space for the past five years in Europe and has been anonymously moonlighting as the one behind The Blockchain Socialist blog and podcast. He is also the co-director of the upcoming documentary Crypto Futures which explores the alternative economic imaginaries of the crypto ecosystem that the mainstream media doesn’t cover.
“This is the guide to crypto for people who care about justice more than tech. Josh Dávila does not treat blockchains as salvation or abomination, as most commentators have. Rather, he shows it is an opportunity, and a set of choices—a chance to build a radically freer world or a virtual enclosure. Here is a crypto-compass for anti-dystopians.”
“Taking the capitalism out of anarcho-capitalist technology in order to claim it for the left is no mean feat but Blockchain Radicals does this and more. A must-read for anyone hoping to extend their theoretical and practical reach in the era of hyper-financialization.”
“A fascinating, provocative, and illuminating view on blockchains that makes a strong case for taking them seriously as a possible tool of liberation.”
“Stripped of ideological presuppositions, blockchain technologies offer both a spectacular technical exploration of value itself and some of the concrete tools we need to build a new world in the face of the looming capitalist crisis. If he was alive today, I am certain Marx himself would be eagerly reading this book.”
“Blockchain Radicals takes you through a part of the crypto space that is very different both from its libertarian beginnings and from the money and trading-obsessed world of three-million-dollar digital monkeys. An important complement to the existing narratives about the technology.”
“Joshua Dávila lifts the veil on the actual workings of crypto, offering access to those working for social justice. The book bucks the lefty knee-jerk norm of crypto-aversion. This is important because dangerous power imbalances are addressed by social movements armed with the tools of the day, not by critics sitting on the sidelines tutting!”
“The radical potential of blockchain technology lies not in its ability to replicate existing power structures, but in its capacity to enable more collaborative economies and participatory governance practices. In this book, Davila engages in a critical and nuanced examination of the ways in which blockchains can be used to create a more equitable and sustainable society, by challenging — rather than exacerbating — the extractive practices of traditional capitalism. While the book is written for a contemporary audience, its insights are likely to become ever more relevant in the years to come.”
“Joshua Dávila’s book is a clarion call for the left to claim the liberatory potential of crypto instead of ceding the field to tech-determinist libertarians. By weaving nuanced analysis with a hopeful vision for blockchains as a force for progressive change, Dávila not only inspires his readers but also opens portals for them to join the struggle and become rebels for justice.”
“Revolutionary movements that succeed make use of emergent technologies. As the megamachine complex rears its head, crypto provides a safehaven refuge for the cyber-guerilla. This book is the entrance into crypto for political radicals.”