December 23, 2023

In the next few decades, virtually every financial, social, and governmental institution in the world is going to be radically upended by one small but enormously powerful invention: the blockchain.

Do you believe that? Or are you one of those people who think the blockchain and crypto boom is just a massive, decade-long fraud—the bastard child of the Dutch tulip bubble, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and the wackier reaches of the libertarian internet? More likely, you—like me—are at neither of these extremes. Rather, you’re longing for someone to just show you how to think about the issue intelligently and with nuance instead of always falling into the binary trap.

Binaries have been on my mind a lot since I took over the editor’s chair at WIRED last March. That’s because we’re at what feels like an inflection point in the recent history of technology, when various binaries that have long been taken for granted are being called into question.

When WIRED was founded in 1993, it was the bible of techno-utopianism. We chronicled and championed inventions that we thought would remake the world; all they needed was to be unleashed. Our covers featured the brilliant, renegade, visionary—and mostly wealthy, white, and male—geeks who were shaping the future, reshaping human nature, and making everyone’s life more efficient and fun. They were more daring, more creative, richer and cooler than you; in fact, they already lived in the future. By reading WIRED, we…

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