“Move fast and break things” was the famous motto of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder. Among those broken things have been norms of trustworthiness essential to democracy. An activity as dependent on trust as democratic politics is money and finance. This is why developments here cannot be left to the greed and fanaticism we see in the world of cryptocurrencies. Careful assessment needs to be made of this world and its relationship to the broader one of digital money. Change is indeed on the way. But it cannot be left to happen. The cryptocurrency movement would reject that, because its roots lie in anarchistic libertarianism, as Nouriel Roubini of New York University argues. This ideology also beats in the hearts of many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. They are not altogether wrong: the state can be a dangerous monster. But it is also essential: it is humanity’s ultimate insurance mechanism. The world of anarchy is one of competing bandits. It is far better to have just one, as th...

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