Aug 1, 2023

A new book is taking a closer look at crypto as a "historically new money form, in order to make sense of how it is made and exchanged.”

Video transcript

Is presented by Ron connecting the world to the power of Cryptocurrency. I'm very pleased to welcome the author of a brand new book, Data Money Inside Cryptocurrencies, their communities, markets and Blockchains. Welcome um Corey Chili. Um Congratulations on your book. It's a very big deal to publish a book. I know this isn't your only one. I just want to kind of start with kind of a very big question here, which is that, uh you note in the book that you spent some time in a detention center and also under house arrest in Turkey and I'm wondering if that personal experience um in, in any way informed your, your, your, your views about crypto and the use cases for crypto. Hi Emily. Thank you for having me. I, they, I don't think they are related to each other. Um It was about my writing in Turkey and that was like many years ago, like 56 years ago. Um And I don't think the research and the conclusions and this experience are related, but thank you very much for recognizing it. Ok. Just wondering because sometimes, you know, people's views on crypto are shaped by those kinds of experiences. So we thought we would ask you. But OK, let's get to the book then. Um So the book really emphasizes the importance of referring to cryptocurrencies as data money. Um And you really make a point about why this definition is really important and this term is really important. Can you explain sort of in the most simple way why it matters that we call this data money? Um Thank you. This is a great question and wonderful way to start it. I think they're misunderstanding, misrepresenting under regulating and mis reggy crypto because we fail to understand what it is today. It's like 13th century again, Marco Polo comes back to Venice and tells us that, look, there's a new money material, it's paper and some people who think that only metals can be money like silver and gold, keep describing Cryptocurrency or paper money that Kubilay invented 13 in 13th century as some kind of a gold, some kind of a metal, soft gold, soft metal with analogies. We are witnessing a new money material. We are monetizing the right to send data. This is not digital money or online. Money. Cryptocurrency is Cryptocurrency. We don't need to change the name but social scientifically, we need to locate its money material and the accounting infrastructure that it entails because they do not understand the money material that Cryptocurrency is made. We also tend to misunderstand what it is very much like the parable of the blind man. For instance, SEC calls it a security like an asset. IRS calls it a property CFTC calls it a commodity. Some economists call it money. Some people call it not money. Electronic money, which is fine. We are prototyping. What cryptocurrencies is we are in the beginning of the second decade of cryptocurrencies. My research that entailed a computational text analysis, two years of field work among communities and one of the largest exchanges in the world. And also talking to many actors showed us that we invented a new money material. So I think, yeah, that's a, that, that's a great, that's a great explanation. And I agree with you that the the emphasis on data is important. However, I do think that some people don't think of Cryptocurrency as a money, not for the reasons you said just because like people aren't using it to buy things. Like it's actually more, more simple, right? Like it's not like I see what you're saying that some people might not think of it as money because it doesn't look like gold or dollar bills or whatever. But I think some of it is just way, way simpler is that like, you know, the idea of Bitcoin is supposed to use it to like you can use it to buy things and to pay for things that people just aren't doing that. And that's one of the main arguments against Bitcoin is that it's just not being used in the traditional form of of money. That's a very good point. However, there are three different functions of money as debt, as, as currency as fiat and in, in some places, cryptocurrencies are used for money for exchange in others. They used for deposit of value in others. They use it. They are used as debt. We don't use most of us dollars for buying things. It is used to represent movements of capital. We create us dollars digitally as debt. You can't just touch it and you can't buy bread with it. Most of us dollars are used as a representation of value in order to move our economies. Anyway, we are looking at a new type of fiat currency and in the future, they're going to be seeing its enlarging importance. So you, you did have an experience though a personal experience uh which would probably affect your view of crypto. And that is of course, inflation. I remember the days of the Turkish lira being a million or so uh to $1 and, and you know AAA and going up a lot, it, it going down in value to from the times when we had Turkish Lira coins and it, it, it was it within your lifetime, your money went away, your value went away. But you're talking about regulating uh cryptocurrencies. And, and nonetheless, the, the one of the appeals about cryptocurrencies is that it's transnational. So how do you square those two ideas. How do you, how do they work together, the idea of a transnational currency and yet at the same time, something that can be regulated by states which have shown there in many, in many instances, as your experience has shown, uh, to not be good stewards of their monetary policies. Laurence. Great question. And I really like your turkey guide behind you. Um, I watch your show and it's just next to, yeah, I really love it. Um Yeah, I'm actually in Turkey right now, right in the middle of all of you, Amita is in India. So good evening. Good morning, good night, Japan. Um That's a good question. Um um I think if we assume a national fiat currencies to be hegemonic and dominant, we address this question in one way. If we think that we enter a multiple monetary universe in the future, we address this question in a different way. In Turkey, we had a huge inflation. We still have. Um Right now I had a um I I bought something but while I was waiting, dollar value went up and then Turkish near value of what I bought also um went up. It was, it was really crazy. I don't think cryptocurrencies will be for or against inflation or helping or not helping inflation because it depends on how fiat currency could be used right now. We do not have central bank data money because of this. The state has to wait until all data monies are converted into us dollars because the money that the state does the public uses is slower and low tech compared to data monies or cryptocurrencies that you use right now. In the future, very much like merchants in Venice realize the importance of paper money. They convert their gold and silver coins into paper money. And that an international community begin to use, began to use paper money. They're going to be using data money and its variety of forms. It's only less than two decades since this thing started. And we're still learning and prototyping. Our politicians do not understand what's going on. I was watching um your program 23 days ago. Um One of the senators said, I wish our central bank would never have a Cryptocurrency. A central bank digital currency. Nothing could be wrong than that. Because if you do not have this, you cannot follow the movement of new monies, data monies as fast as they move. The public needs to have also a central bank digital currency. The nature of it is going to depend on our democratic procedure of discussing the meaning and the uses of a multi money universe in our new economies. I, you know, I just wanna congratulate you on the book, of course, because uh the way I read the introduction uh of a 230 page book was where you talk about how you spoke to 100 and 12 people and only two came on record. Uh You were embedded yourself in a crypto exchange that you did not name uh to protect your sources, of course, uh which we as journalists obviously understand, but I just want to separate two things out here because you're obviously talking about in the book Global and you're also talking about us regulation where the AC C and CF DC, of course, and the Congress emerge as the leaders and the two separate questions I have. Uh I'll get to the first because it's slightly technical. Uh and, and the context behind this is that the G 20 where India is the president right now is leading the conversation on framing global rules. Uh And it's kind of putting it out there that it represents the global South, the emerging economies as opposed to the advanced economies, you know, the G7, Japan and the US and, and Europe country, European countries. And in the book, you write my research shows that the proliferation of cryptocurrencies is in fact supporting the dollarization and Euro Organization of World Trade, not posing a threat to sovereign fiat currencies. And this is exactly why global South nations led by perhaps India say they don't want to support the proliferation of cryptocurrencies. The Indian Central Bank governor said this is exactly why we don't want to support it. So did you look at how Dollarization and Euro organization, you know, is not in the interest of some other parts of the world through crypto. Um That's a very, very good question, Amita, we're just starting to carry out se serious social scientific research as far as I know, this is the only longitudinal analysis of a Cryptocurrency community. This is also one of the first ethnographically, I believe it's the first ethnographic research um and extended research on how a Cryptocurrency exchange works on the ground. I I did research with an exchange for more than six months. Um We don't know what the impact is going to be on the non West for the time being. We know that most crypto communities are white, are Western, are male and are very educated. Um The data is in is incomplete. We need to carry out more research about it instead of assuming it. However, cryptocurrencies as a money material are better technological drawing on and better technological uh accounting mechanisms, blockchains. Thus, they are better in economizing resources in order to produce circulate and benefit from a variety of monies. In logically, this would help non West and global global South. But for the time being, the West is also quite slow in adopting this technology because we do not know how to locate legally and social scientifically. This novelty, Marco Polo came up with paper money. Some of us say, oh this is not gold, it can't be money. Noble lied. Economists like Paul Krugman says Cryptocurrency does not have real service. Nothing could be wrong than that. It brings a lot of service, material service. All right. Uh Well, thank you, Coy. Unfortunately, we're completely our time. That was Coy, the author of a Data Money. Congratulations on your new book. Thanks so much for joining us.

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