Brett ScottAug 24, 2022
Cash, Cards, Crypto, and the War for Our Wallets
Harper Business 2022
In Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto, and the War for Our Wallets (Harper Business, 2022), Brett Scott tells an urgent and revelatory story about how the fusion of Big Finance and Big Tech requires “cloudmoney”—digital money underpinned by the banking sector—to replace physical cash. He dives beneath the surface of the global financial system to uncover a long-established lobbying infrastructure: an alliance of partners waging a covert war on cash. He explains the technical, political, and cultural differences between our various forms of money and shows how the cash system has been under attack for decades, as banking and tech companies promote a cashless society under the banner of progress.
Cloudmoney takes us to the front lines of a war for our wallets that is also about our freedom, from marketing strategies against cash to the weaponization of COVID-19 to push fintech platforms, and from there to the rise of the cryptocurrency rebels and fringe groups pushing back. It asks the most pressing questions:
- Who benefits from a cashless society and who gets left behind?
- Is the end of cash the end of true privacy?
- And is our cloudmoney future closer than we think it is?
Brett Scott is an economic anthropologist, financial activist, and former broker. In 2013 he published The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, and since then has spoken at hundreds of events across the globe and has appeared across international media, including BBC World News and Sky News. He has written extensively on financial reform, digital finance, alternative currency, blockchain technology, and the cashless society for publications like the Guardian, New Scientist, Huffington Post, Wired, and CNN.com, and also publishes the Altered States of Monetary Consciousness newsletter. He has worked on financial reform campaigns and alternative currency systems with a wide range of groups and is a Senior Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab (UK). He currently resides in Berlin.
Utsav Saksena is a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. He can be reached at email@example.com. Note: opinions expressed in this podcast are purely personal and do not reflect the official position of NIPFP or the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.