Cloudmoney goes live
Get your copy of this year's hottest book on cash, cards, crypto and the war for our wallets
I’m breaking my Substack hibernation to plug my new book Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto and the War for our Wallets, which is being released in the UK and many other countries today! (note: the US/Canada release follows in a few weeks time)
It took me three years to complete (with heartbreak in the beginning, a pandemic in the middle and a full-out breakdown at the end), but I really like this book. It turns that others also like it - it’s been endorsed by Kate Raworth, Yanis Varoufakis, Grace Blakeley, Stephanie Kelton, Nicholas Shaxson, Jason Hickel, Sarah Jaffe, Raj Patel, Ann Pettifor and Lionel Barber. Here are two of those endorsements.
The official blurb
Cards seem convenient, and crypto seems cool, but in Cloudmoney I lay out the case for why the cash system is more crucial than ever, and why it needs to be protected. Here is the official description of the book…
Many of us rarely use cash these days. And the reach of corporations into our lives via cards and apps has never been greater. But what we're told is natural and inevitable is actually the work of powerful interests: the great battle of our time is for ownership of the digital footprints that make up our lives.
Who benefits from a cashless society and who gets left behind? Is the end of cash the end of true privacy? And is a cashless future closer than we think?
Cloudmoney tells a revelatory story about the fusion of big finance and tech, which requires physical cash to be replaced by digital money or 'cloudmoney'. Diving beneath the surface of the global financial system, Brett Scott uncovers a long-established lobbying infrastructure waging a covert war on cash, as banking and tech companies promote a cashless society under the banner of progress.
From marketing strategies against cash, to the weaponization of Covid-19 to advance fintech platforms, and the cryptocurrency rebels and fringe groups pushing back, Cloudmoney takes us to the frontlines of a war for our wallets that is also about our freedom.
And here’s Kate Raworth’s summary…
Five reasons why you’ll love Cloudmoney
I’d really love it if ALL of you could order Cloudmoney, so here are five reasons why I think you will value it, all beginning with C.
It’s clear: it is hard to write about global monetary systems in a simple way, but the book does that. It distills the complex architecture of money into clear descriptions that a non-expert reader can understand.
It’s critical: it doesn’t romanticise digital money and fintech, and shows why the narratives of empowerment-through-technology have a dark side. It also doesn’t hype up crypto-currency (let’s face it - there are now hundreds of books doing that). I’m not anti-tech, but I’m not easily impressed by the unbalanced claims made by many technology movements.
It’s contrarian: the book cuts through the innovation-speak that surrounds financial technology, and provides an account of why we should protect the unsexy physical cash system. It also cuts through the often pseudo-revolutionary language that surrounds the crypto world, and gives a realistic assessment of what we can and cannot expect of crypto-tokens.
It contextualises: the book puts things in their place. It doesn’t only show how major monetary innovations and movements relate to each other, but also sets that in the context of the vortex of global corporate capitalism and geopolitics. Finally, it sets all of this within an ecological, social and - dare I say - spiritual context.
It provides contrast, and accepts contradiction: the book might be critical, but the point isn’t to slam-dunk digital money enthusiasts, fintech startups or crypto hopefuls, or to reject their innovations. I appreciate the enthusiasm of many people who work within those industries, but all too often their takes are given far too much airtime. The book fills in the shadow side of their narratives, serving as a contrast to rebalance them. As I note in the book’s introduction, think of this book as a darker yin to contrast with a brighter yang. Above all, I’m acutely aware of, and empathetic towards, the deeply contradictory nature of our lives in a global capitalist system, where innovations can be simultaneously empowering and destructive.
What you will find inside
I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow account of the chapters and arguments, but I’ll just leave this contents page here with you.
Still not convinced? Listen to these six!
So where can I find it?!
It’s available in physical form, e-book format and audiobook. Here’s some links to help you find it in your country:
The English version
UK: Penguin UK
USA & Canada: Harper Collins USA (pre-order for 5th July 2022)
Australia: Penguin Australia
New Zealand: Penguin New Zealand
South Africa: Penguin South Africa
Continental Europe (English version) - search for ‘Cloudmoney’ and your region
India - search for ‘Cloudmoney India’
German translation (pre-order for 14th September 2022)
Dutch translation (pre-order for September 2022)
Translations still forthcoming: Italian, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Complex Chinese, Simplified Chinese
But wait, what if I want to pay with cash?!
Look, I understand that most of us are increasingly being pulled into the digital tech-finance vortex, and that most people will order online. I totally understand that, but if you feel moved to take on the challenge of promoting cash, I encourage you to visit your local bookstore and to request that they order copies of the book if they haven’t already. I love to support indy bookstores, and I’d also love for you to ask them to support me. Nicholas Shaxson demands it.
Believe in the book’s mission? Help me boost it!
Let’s get real for a moment. The cash system is taking a major hit right now, and the case for why we should protect it really needs to be heard among as many people as possible. I would be hugely appreciative if you could share Cloudmoney with any friends, family, colleagues or connections who may enjoy it. I’d also love it if you could share it with total strangers. One way to do that is to click on this button…
Alternatively, I constructed a beautiful Tweet thread, which explains the book. You can retweet it.
I also constructed this helpful Facebook post, and LinkedIn post, which can be shared. I don’t have Instagram or TikTok, but this gives you a great opportunity to be the first to promote it there!
Thanks for your time, and hope you enjoy Cloudmoney.
I am really looking forward to reading this. Since returning to the UK from Portugal a few months ago, I've been horrified by the headlong rush towards a cashless society. In just eighteen months, the country has changed dramatically - many cafes and bars no longer accept cash, and supermarkets are increasingly automated, coupling card-only payments with increased surveillance. Food shopping is becoming a high-security experience! (Some details in my own Substack)
My response to this trend - apart from going back to Portugal for at least part of the year, where cash still rules - is to boycott all places that don't accept cash and to ween myself off supermarket shopping. I'm also becoming more digitally-discriminating and no longer shop at Amazon. Because of moving between countries, I may have to get an e-copy and I'm interested to hear of alternatives to Amazon.
On burnout, yes! Few people realise what it takes to put your face into this kind of stuff and I have protect my own nervous system carefully. I only do a monthly post, and put off the most difficult topics until I feel ready. Conversations and feedback help - a large part of the stress is the fear (evidence!) that so many people are sleepwalking into what could become a very unpleasant way of life.