Bitcoin proponents argue that it is a force for empowerment, privacy, financial inclusion and cheap financial transfers. These claims are subject to various lines of critique: there is unequal access to the technology, that it can be abused by those who use it, and that it will fail to deliver collective benefits. In this piece, Brett Scott claims that despite this, Bitcoin remains one of the few systems that could act as a partial future counterpower to our existing electronic bank payments system.
Brett Scott is a journalist, campaigner and the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (Pluto Press: 2013). He works on financial reform, alternative finance and economic activism with a wide variety of NGOs, artists and students, and writes for publications such as The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired Magazine, Aeon and CNN.com. He tweets as @suitpossum.