A Day in the Life of the Splinternet

A Day in the Life of the Splinternet


In 2030, at the interminable tail end of another hot, smoky summer in Mexico City, the power went out again and she went down into the basement where it was cooler. Other people from the apartment block were already sitting on the gritty concrete: snacking, vaping, talking, thumbing through their devices and killing time. People shared charging bricks in a neighborly way. She had three phones; most people she knew had anywhere from two to seven. 

Finn Brunton is an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU and author of “Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency.” This post is part of CoinDesk’s “Internet 2030” series.

The phone she needed for university was expensive: a German-made, handy model, code-compliant with what the phone called SBI, “Schengen Boundary Internet,” but everyone else called the “EUnternet.” The phone was locked down and tamperproof, the software

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