New Money Review podcast

New Money Review podcast

The worrying politics of cryptocurrency

September 21, 2022

Cryptocurrency billionaires are gaining a political foothold in countries rich and poor.

Their influence now extends into governments, legislatures, charities and educational establishments around the world.

In the US, cryptocurrency businesses’ lobbying power now exceeds that of the big tech, pharma and defence sectors, traditionally among the biggest contributors to politicians and their parties.

And crypto promoters are finding a ready audience in some of the world’s most deprived and war-torn countries, often those with sizeable natural resources.

Despite the recent failure by El Salvador to achieve the domestic adoption of bitcoin, the leaders of several African countries are now following suit, pushing their own cryptocurrency projects.

In the latest New Money Review podcast, Pete Howson, assistant professor in international development at the UK’s University of Northumbria, talks about the worrying shift towards a global political system influenced by a very undemocratic creation—cryptocurrency.

In the 30-minute podcast we cover:

  • Why did El Salvador make bitcoin legal tender?
  • Why has the country’s bitcoin experiment been a dismal failure?
  • Given this failure, why are other countries copying El Salvador’s lead?
  • Central African Republic’s plans to build a cryptocurrency hub
  • Rapper Akon’s plans for crypto cities in Senegal and Uganda
  • How Russia is projecting political power into Africa using cryptocurrencies
  • Why Binance’s CEO is meeting the world’s politicians
  • Disaster capitalism and cryptocurrency
  • Natural resources and the new crypto colonialism
  • Why many US and UK politicians are on the crypto lobbyists’ payroll
  • How governments and regulators can fight back