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Coin Toss: Will blockchain undermine or buttress state power?

I have a review of Don and Alex Tapscott’s new book, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World in this month’s Literary Review of Canada.  The full piece is here, but in short:

The book is at its best when explaining the complex concepts underpinning blockchain, but ultimately falls victim to an irreconcilable conflict at the heart of the blockchain movement—the growing divide in the cryptocurrency community between those who want to normalize its use and those who remain steadfast in its revolutionary potential. Put more starkly, while some view blockchain as a more efficient tool for financial services, market exchanges, online purchases and information sharing that can be adopted by established actors, others see it as a fundamental challenge to the hierarchical nature of power itself. These two visions of blockchain cannot coexist.