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The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 85–88 | Cite as

David Golumbia, The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism

Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2017. 91 Pages. $7.95 (paperback)
  • William LutherEmail author
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  • 196 Downloads

Many see bitcoin as a clever piece of code; an alternative payment mechanism; or a proof-of-concept for the underlying blockchain technology. David Golumbia sees it as right-wing extremism. In his new book, The Politics of Bitcoin, Golumbia argues that bitcoin was designed to “satisfy needs that make sense only in the context of right-wing politics” (p. 12); that “Bitcoin enthusiasts repackage material from [right-wing extremist] writers almost verbatim” (p. 21); and, as such, “Bitcoin serves […] to spread and firmly root” the right-wing ideology (p. 25).

As a monetary economist, I find myself in agreement with much of what Golumbia writes. He correctly lambasts “racist populism and conspiratorial opposition to the Federal Reserve” (p. 19). Despite its origins on the ominously named Jekyll Island, it is not a shadowy group that benefits Jews and English banking families at the expense of everyone else. He is right in describing the oft-cited loss in purchasing power that the dollar has...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kenyon CollegeGambierUSA

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