City Folk Eaten By Code

Out of the woods, into the City!

I went to the Ethereum Meetup last night. A suitably informal tuttle-ish mess of conversations about blockchain applications. Developers, startup founders and me, the social artist elephant in the room, wondering what this all means for the milling crowds of financial services workhorses I’d just passed through at Liverpool St Station.

It’s early enough for the “scene” to fit into the upstairs room of an Aldgate pub. And the talk reminds me of the way the web was in the mid-nineties. “All of this sounds great, it’s conceptually beautiful, but after working in a bank, actually running a business, trying to sell this stuff to people, it’s all just so messy!” said one participant.

It may be a long way off, but there is a feeling of inevitability about it, the way that it was obvious that our manufacturing industry would be replaced by some form of technology or sent somewhere else, but we just didn’t want to talk about it. I do feel a bit like someone standing in Longbridge in the late 1970s saying “You’re going to be a robot. You’re a robot. You’re a robot…”