Bill Maurer opened the panel highlighting three recent trends in finance: The shift of investment from traditional markets to non-market based financial arrangements championed by the rise of philanthropic venture capital pushing into all kinds of new areas that were traditionally not expected to yield a return; the remodeling or reorganization of financial infrastructures: payments, clearing services, trading platforms, supply chain management and so on; and the new quality of automaticity enabled by smart contracts, potentially creating tradable shares of everyday objects. What would it mean to engage critically with such developments? Maurer suggested to think about choking points: Where are these processes fragile? Is there a way to 'unplug' finance by politicizing its strategic dependence on energy grids?

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