When reports circulated in 2014 that the Central Bank of Ecuador had banned Bitcoin and planned to introduce its own digital currency, the focus on Bitcoin distracted from the world's first publically mandated and operated mobile money system and the intense controversy that system provoked in Ecuador. As Taylor Nelms explains in this article in the ‘Future of Money’ strand, that controversy was linked to anxieties about the durability of money’s value. The anxities stemmed from Ecuador’s dollarization more than a decade before, pointing back towards the politics of value at stake in contemporary experiments with the infrastructures of money.
Taylor C. Nelms is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology. His research concerns the politics and pragmatics of money, law, and the state, especially in the context of efforts to reimagine economy and society. His website is taylornelms.net and he tweets at @royal_t14.