Cryptocurrency and Its Discontents

Cryptocurrency and Its Discontents

Economic Space Agency presents
Cryptocurrency and Its Discontents
September 27, 2017, 7pm
311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

The Occupy Wall Street movement raised an essential question that we haven’t quite been able to answer yet: How to occupy an abstraction? Financial capitalism hangs above our heads like an extractive cloud that escapes our grasp. It uses monetization as the mechanism by which social, cultural, economic, and ecological values are all flattened out and made equivalent to one another. And obviously, this whole extractive architecture is inherently hierarchical: some privileged few are allowed to issue money, while everyone else can only issue promises to pay money.

How can we shift from the individual precarity generated by extractive finance to new forms of mutual indebtedness and metastable stakeholding? For starters, we need  to conceive of money as a technical object of social design; that is, something that can and needs to be re-engineered to serve our collective aspirations. In that sense, the excitement around blockchain and crypto-currencies is an excitement around a new means of encryption that takes one huge step towards the democratization of finance through techniques of decentralization.

Economic Space Agency is building Space, a virtual platform based on a post-blockchain computing fabric named Gravity.  Space aims to opensource finance: to allows communities and individuals to make offers and issue their own programmable tokens that will function as attractors around which to orient the creation of their own value constellations.

In an age awash with venture capitalists and billionaires, anarcho-capitalists and conspiracy theorists, oligarchs and neo-authoritarians, Economic Space Agency offers to diverse groups of people a leverage point in the corporate race to own the value of socially networked production. For we are always already at stake with each other, partnered all the way down,  entangled in a series of interlaced trails and creative feedback loops, holding open life for one another. Radical finance means the democratization of financial tools and the creation of designable, sustainable, non-extractive economies.

Join the ECSA team for a discussion about our vision to remake the DNA of the economy as we know it and find out more about our upcoming Token Generation Event!

Jonathan Beller Director of the Graduate Program in Media Studies, Pratt Institute; author of The Cinematic Mode of Production (2006) and The Message is Murder: Substrates of Computational Capital (2017)

Dick Bryan Professor Emeritus at University of Sydney; most recently author (with Michael Rafferty) of Capitalism with Derivatives: A Political Economy of Financial Derivatives, Capital and Class (2006)

Brett Scott Former derivatives broker; fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab; author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance; blogs at

Akseli Virtanen CEO, ECSA; PhD, political economy and finance theory; founder of Robin Hood Asset Management; author of Arbitrary Power: Towards a Critique of Biopolitical Economy (2006, forthcoming in English)

Jorge Lopez Chief Architect and CTO of Gravity Protocol, ECSA.; software architect, cyphershaman

Pekko Koskinen Lead Designer of Space, ECSA; game and interaction strategist; game designer

Erik Bordeleau Economic Engineer, ECSA; PhD, philosophy and cultural theory; author of Comment sauver le commun du communisme? [How to save the common of communism] (2014)

For more information, contact

Cryptocurrency & Blockchain, Money & Finance

Jonathan Beller is the director of the Graduate Program in Media Studies at the Pratt Institute in New York, and the author of The Cinematic Mode of Production (2006) and The Message is Murder: Substrates of Computational Capital (2017).

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