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Beware the bitcoin dystopia

In the 1960s, a generation got high dreaming of a world freed from capitalism. By the end of the decade, to quote the satirical film Withnail and I, they were “selling hippie wigs in Woolworths, man”.

Every generation or so, a new counterculture thinks it has discovered a purer way of doing things. But, in the end, money always wins.

This was proved again when the idealism of the San Francisco hippie movement was reborn in Silicon Valley, where college graduates congregated from the 1990s to build a new digital utopia. Many of them would develop the websites that today turn our personal information and toxic political discourse into billions of dollars every year.

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