New Criticals

The labor of the Bitcoin system is fractioned and spread out to individual nodes that distribute work over broad geographic and digital spaces. Bitcoin is emblematic of a new type of production that harnesses highly advanced machinery to spread computationally and technologically intensive labor across an extensive swath of workers, space, and time, subsequently minimizing the physical burden on any one operator or machine. Bitcoin is also a currency produced de-centrally in direct conflict with late capitalism; it is its own government, regulatory agency, and mint, presided over by no one thing, save perhaps Mathematical Law. The wholly digital nature of the system further pushes on that striking paradox that privileges both anonymity and transparency simultaneously; absolute anonymity for each user but total transparency for all transactions. Information is caught somewhere in the middle – the personal is protected, the public is shared, but both remain persistently inextricable.