Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have enabled a new architecture for peer-to-peer transactions without a trusted broker. As we have seen with the internet, distributed protocols can give users the ability to directly transact, circumventing slow-moving and sometimes corrupt intermediaries. One benefit of these systems is protecting consumers from payment censorship. Another potential benefit is opening up the currently privatized infrastructures underlying our financial and data systems. Beyond the realm of finance, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology development have sparked an effort to rethink the way that power and authority is embedded into the digital infrastructures that pervade our social, political, and economic lives.
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