How mobile is money? Fixture and flow in emerging monetary regimes
Vinzenz Baumer Escobar (Utrecht University)
Coco Kanters (Leiden University)
Tristam Barrett (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Thursday 16 August, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

While money facilitates movement and interconnection, its movement is also heavily regulated and transfixed by a variety of actors. By focusing on emerging monetary regimes, such as cryptomarkets and local currencies, this panel interrogates money's fixture and flow across multiple scales.

Long abstract:

Money makes the world go round: or so goes the well-known adage. Inherently mobile, money certainly facilitates the flow of people, things, and ideas across and between borders. But recent technological developments are profoundly changing the infrastructures of money as well as our imagination of it beyond a state-instituted means of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. On the one hand, cryptocurrencies promote borderless monetary mobility and limitless speculation without regulatory oversight. On the other hand, grassroots movements have instituted alternative currencies and networks, aimed at fixing money into local economies and collectives. Central Banks and governments, meanwhile, are urgently exploring ways to regulate such emerging monetary flows.

The mobility of money has become an increasingly contested domain across multiple scales - local, national, and transnational - and regulatory regimes. This panel invites theoretical and ethnographic papers that examine situations where money is made to travel across, or on the contrary, is fixed into different forms and scales. We propose to discuss key questions that include but are not limited to: How are the boundaries of monetary regimes politicised and contested? How does the digitisation of value facilitate or obstruct global movement and interconnection? What kinds of often future-orientated imaginations, social practices, and regulatory frameworks are monetary transactions embedded in? And what is at stake for those who attempt to facilitate or stymie the mobility of money?