An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Video: How Money is a Social Tool

  • Julie Fox
  • Slice of MIT

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When you imagine the future of money—how do you want to pay? “We often tend to think about the economy and the economic as somewhat divorced from the interpersonal, cultural, the social—but money is fundamentally a social tool,” explains Lana Swartz SM ’09, assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and author of New Money: How Payment Became Social Media, in a recent Faculty Forum Online.

In this recording of the livestreamed webinar, Swartz discusses her book and its focus on “hidden payments, hidden infrastructures, and hidden people who are not able to access certain payment systems.” She addresses digital money platforms and issues of safety around transactional data. She also answers questions from the virtual audience of MIT alumni about Bitcoin, if cash is becoming obsolete, and the regulation of money systems.

The talk was moderated by Ehsan Masood, 2017–18 MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow.

Watch more archived Faculty Forum Online webinars, and register for upcoming MIT Alumni Association virtual programming.

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