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Book Talk — Tokens: The Future of Money in the Age of the Platform

Book Talk — Tokens: The Future of Money in the Age of the Platform

13 November 2023 at 9:00:00 am

Platform capitalism is coming for the money in your pocket


Wherever you look, money is being replaced by tokens. Digital platforms are issuing new kinds of money-like things: phone credit, shares, gift vouchers, game tokens, customer data—the list goes on. But what does it mean when online platforms become the new banks? What new types of control and discrimination emerge when money is tied to specific apps or actions, politics or identities?


Tokens opens up this new and expanding world. Exploring the history of extramonetary economies, Rachel O’Dwyer shows that private and grassroots tokens have always haunted the real economy. But as the large tech platforms issue new money-like instruments, tokens are suddenly everywhere. Amazon’s Turk workers are getting paid in gift cards. Online streamers trade in wishlists. Foreign remittances are sent via phone credit. Bitcoin, gift cards, NFTs, customer data, and game tokens are the new money in an evolving economy. It is a development challenging the balance of power between online empires and the state. Tokens may offer a flexible even subversive route to compensation. But for the platforms them- selves they can be a means of amassing frightening new powers.


An essential read for anyone concerned with digital money, inequality, and the future of the economy.


About the speaker:


Rachel O’Dwyer is a lecturer at the School of Visual Culture at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. She was a Fulbright Scholar at UC Irvine and the Microsoft Research labs, Cambridge; she is currently a fellow at Connect, the centre for Networks and Telecommunications at Trinity College, Dublin. She is the co-editor of Neural Magazine and has written for outlets such as Convergence, MIT Press and the London Review of Books. She has curated a number of exhibitions of digital practise that explore the intersection of art and the Blockchain.


Book Talk — Tokens: The Future of Money in the Age of the Platform

Date: November 13, 2023 (MON)

Time: 5:00PM – 6:30PM

Webinar via Zoom

Speaker: Rachel O’Dwyer

Registration: https://bit.ly/231113event


**Zoom link will be provided one day before the event.

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