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Crypto-politics and counterfeit democracy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 November 2023

Leah Downey
University of Cambridge, UK
Stefan Eich*
Georgetown University, USA/Institute for Advanced Study, USA
Corresponding author: Stefan Eich, Institute forAdvanced Study, School of Social Science, 1 Einstein Drive, 08540 Princeton, NJ,USA. Email:
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What began with an intense bout of crypto fever has since the onset of the pandemic engendered an explosive rise in online retail trading. While the original political promise of financial decentralization has become ever harder to sustain, the idea of democracy as access, including access to highly speculative and gamified investments, continues to capture the financial imagination.

Forum: Edges of the financial imagination
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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives licence (, which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
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