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We launched, in mid-December, with 8 solid long-form interviews with the people that we thought had interesting things to say about crypto and Web3 but were mostly missing from the public debate about them. Since then, we have published three more: withe Francesca Bria, Olivier Juttel, and Bram Büscher.
There are many more interesting people in the proverbial pipeline. We have also been working with various media partners in French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, syndicating most of our interviews in those languages. If you'd like to help us get them out in more languages in the newspapers you trust, do get in touch (you can reach us at crypto at the-syllabus dot com).
Our convesation with Francesca Bria ranges over a lot of topics, from her early background with social movements and hacklabs to her involvement with governments, in Latin America and Europe. Throughout the past two decades, Francesca has been tirelessly trying to build a public alternative to Big Tech - a challenge that is not any less urgent at a time when everyone is so excited about Web3. We discuss the origins of D-Cent and Decode Projects, one of the few successful European projects that did advance a vision for democratic decentralisation of technological infrastructures, before the talk of Web3 hijacked the debate.
The conversation with Olivier Juttel - on how the Pacific became the new testing ground for what he calls "blockchain imperialism" was also very timely: just a few days after we published it, the digital worled discovered the existence of Cryptoland in Fiji. Oliver traces the fascination that the US State Department has had with the blockchain to the initial Internet Freedom agenda, especially its "freedom to connect" and "Civil Society 2.0" pillars. Not surprisingly, the flagship crypto projects in the region - e.g. the blockchain tuna - don't actually work, so much of this remains pure fantasy of blockchain developers and their foreign backers.
Bram Büscher, who is one of the few scholars to look at how calls for more market-based conservation intersect with the rise of platform capitalism, shared a lot of intresting insights with us. When Web2.0 was all the arge, Bram wrote a very interesting article arouncing the emergence of Nature 2.0; so it was curious to hear what he had to say about Nature3 that were to emerge out of Web3. Bram's conclusions are quite sober in that the many promises made in the name of crypto and blockchain in this space seem to rely on a lot of market-based instruments that have already proved ineffective in the past; porting them to the blockchain doesn't resolve the fundamental structural problems.
We hope you enjoying reading all these interviews. We do plan to release more curated reading lists and syllabi on the poltical and economic effects of crypto in the months to come.
Here are the other interviews we've done so far:
Brian Eno on NFTs & Automaticism
Jorge E. Cuéllar on El Salvador's Bitcoin experiment
Sanneke Kloppenburg on Climate & Crypto
Andrés Arauz on CDBCs and Sovereignty
Katrin Becker on Lex Cryptographia
Geraldine Juárez on NFTs & Ghosts
Izabella Kaminska on DeFi, ReFi & Trust