Brett Scott – Keynote Speaker

Author, Journalist & Former Financial Broker exploring the politics of money systems

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Specialist Subjects

  • The War for our Wallets: who is battling who for what in the global monetary system?
  • Cash is the bicycle of payments, not the horse cart!
  • The four faces of fintech: a critcal review of ‘financial democratsation’ and inclusion
  • The war on cash, and why it matters for politcs
  • Bitcoin, and the new age of cryptocurrency countertrade
  • The changing face of crypto-leviathans: the shifting politcs of ‘Web 3’


  • English


Brett Scott is an author, journalist, economic anthropologist and former financial broker. His latest book Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto and the War for our Wallets (Penguin/HarperCollins, 2022) explores the battle between cash and digital money, and is described by the Financial Times as a ‘compelling case against the contactless society’.

His previous book, The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance (Pluto Press, 2013), was a hands-on guide to financial activism and alternative finance for people who wish to change the financial sector for the better. He’s written on cashless society, fintech, cryptocurrency, monetary reform, economic activism, and the politics of tech for publications like The Guardian, Business Insider, New Scientist, Huffington Post, Wired Magazine and, and has spoken at over 300 events in over 30 countries.

Brett Scott regularly appears on TV shows, radio broadcasts and documentaries across the world, including BBC World News and Sky News. He’s provided input to reports for multilateral institutions like the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and UN Environment Program, and has presented on financial inclusion at EU Parliament, EU Commission and IMF events.

He obtained a degree in anthropology in South Africa and a Masters in international development from Cambridge University (UK), and worked in the world of financial derivatives in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, after which he worked on financial reform campaigns and alternative finance projects with a wide range of groups.

Popular Talks by Brett Scott

The War for our Wallets: who is battling who for what in the global monetary system?

Debates about the future of money contain a confusing jumble of predictions warped by misunderstandings and commercial interests. We’re told that a cashless society is inevitable, that CBDCs are the result of Bitcoin, that stablecoins are going to displace the banking sector, and that cryptocurrencies are compelling with the US dollar. But few of these forecasts are accurate. In this talk, Brett Scott will lay out a clear framework for understanding the different layers of money in our global economy, so we can map how they battle each other, and who the victors may be.

Cash is the bicycle of payments, not the horse cart!

Pronouncing the death of physical cash has been a futurist cliché for decades, but these predictions are often based on flawed mental models of the cash system and how it relates to digital money. In this talk Brett Scott shows why cash is not an outdated ‘horse cart of payments’, and why it’s far better thought of as the ‘bicycle of payments’. The cash system is certainly under attack, but in a future of climate change, geopolitical insecurity, cyber-attacks and digital burnout it stands to make a strong comeback.

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