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Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff

Bill Maurer and Lana Swartz


For over a hundred years, many have envisioned a cashless society, whether utopian or dystopian. Now, in an era of mobile money and Bitcoin, it seems that cashlessness might not be far off. In recent years, there has been a flurry of payment innovation. Many of these new technologies offer a dream of money as pure information: seamless andinstantaneous. But instead of becoming dematerialized, new money technologies rely on as much, if not more, stuff than cash ever did. This book investigates the material of money past, present, and future. It is a collection of essays by scholars across field ... More

Keywords: Money, Payment, Technology, Materiality, Cashless, Financial Technology (Fin Tech)

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780262035750
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035750.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bill Maurer, editor
University of California, Irvine

Lana Swartz, editor
University of Virginia

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1 Dongles

Scott Mainwaring

2 Checks

Lisa Servon

3 Tattoos

Lynn H. Gamble

4 Mag Stripe

David L. Stearns

5 Accounts

Taylor C. Nelms

6 Dogecoin

Sarah Jeong

7 Khipu

Gary Urton

8 Cards

Lana Swartz

9 Cash

Alexandra Lippman

10 Signatures

Bill Maurer

11 Tallies

David Graeber

12 Sharing

Maria Bezaitis

13 Leaves

Whitney Anne Trettien

14 Minitel

Julien Mailland

15 Receipts

Jane I. Guyer

16 ATMs

Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo

17 Greybacks

Keith Hart

18 The Swipe

Michael Palm

19 Ether

Rachel O’Dwyer

20 Silver

Finn Brunton