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Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency
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Episode 101
Featuring Michael Casey
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Casey, an acclaimed writer, and researcher in the fields of economics, finance, and digital-currency technology, the rise of cryptocurrency, and how surveillance capitalism and a loss of faith in financial institutions are driving the remaking of the modern world.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Michael Casey, an acclaimed author, journalist, researcher, and entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO and founder of Streambed Media, an early-stage video production and technology platform that seeks to optimize capital formation and creative output in the digital media industry. Michael is also chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, where he has spearheaded research projects that employ blockchain technology to achieve social impact goals.

Michael Casey’s breadth of experience as a financial journalist for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, as well as his time spent stationed overseas in Thailand and Argentina, provide him with a unique perspective on the ‘problem of trust’ and what he calls ‘the Internet’s original sin.’ The latter is a reference to the observation that the inventors of packet switching and the basic Web protocols did, according to Casey, “a masterful job figuring how to move information seamlessly across a distributed network. What they didn’t do was resolve the problem of trust.” “On the one hand,” writes the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board, “the distribution of public information was disintermediated, which put all centralized providers of that information, especially newspapers and other media outlets, under intense business pressure from blogs and other new information competitors. But on the other, all valuable information – particularly money itself, an especially valuable form of information – was still intermediated by trusted third parties.”

This intersection between money, communication, and trust serves as the basis for Demetri and Michael’s conversation during this episode. The two discuss Shoshana Zuboff’s work on Surveillance Capitalism, the loss of faith in financial institutions and central banks (including recent actions by the Federal Open Market Committee and the intervention by the Fed in the overnight Repo market), and how cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology aims to reinstill this lost faith by resolving the problem of trust.

The overtime to this week’s episode is an exhaustive exploration of the forces driving cryptocurrency adoption around the globe, the cultural impetus behind these forces, and the financial imperatives fueling Bitcoin's ascent as truly global money.

You can access the overtime, along with a transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers also gain access to the overtime RSS feed, which can be easily be added to your favorite podcast application. 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Michael Casey is CEO and founder of Streambed Media, an early-stage video production and technology platform that seeks to optimize capital formation and creative output in the digital media industry. He is also chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, where he has spearheaded research projects that employ blockchain technology to achieve social impact goals. Additionally, Casey is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, an adjunct professor at Curtin University’s Center for Culture and Technology.

Until mid-2015, Casey was a senior columnist covering global finance at The Wall Street Journal, the culmination of a two-decade career in print journalism that spanned various roles and stints on five continents. He also hosted online TV shows for WSJ Live and frequently appeared on various networks as a commentator, including CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, and the BBC. Casey is a frequent speaker on the international conference circuit, giving presentations on topics of digital innovation, globalization, and the future of media and money. He also advises and consults for both startups and large enterprises that are undergoing or confronting digital transformation.

Casey has five acclaimed books to his name, including The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything and The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order, both co-authored with Paul Vigna. He has also worked with and has featured in various documentaries covering a variety of themes to do with digital technology and culture.

A native of Perth, Australia, Casey is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and has higher degrees from Cornell University and Curtin University.

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