Follow the [New] Money

On the Trail of Crypto, Cards, Coins and Cash

A Film by Sophia Igel and Philipp Scholtysik

On September 16, 2023, a Market for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge under the title Follow the Money – Of Analogue Values, Digital Currencies and the Quantification of the World was staged in Frankfurt/Main. This was a project by the Mobile Academy Berlin, produced by Künstler:innenhaus Mousonturm in cooperation with ZEVEDI. In 1:1 conversations with visitors – and audible via event radio – around 90 experts followed the traces of money on a large scale, on a small scale and in their own lives. All information about the film is also available here as a booklet (German only).

The video documents excerpts from 8 of these 192 conversations, in which perspectives on digital payment are discussed: The conversations revolve around the social significance of cash and the restrictions on digital payments. Other discuss the digital euro, a central bank currency that is supposed to function digitally but in a similar way to cash. Crypto assets such as Bitcoin and technologies such as blockchain play a roleas well. All of it sheds light onto the “digital money jungle” in which we find ourselves as individuals, but also as a society. For an overview of what else is happening, see the eFin-Blogpost Ein Markt des nützlichen Wissens und Nicht-Wissens (German only).

The experts in order of their appearance and with selected contributions to the topic:

Brett Scott is a former broker and now a publicist and cash activist. He is the author of the newsletter Altered States of Monetary Consciousness and the book Cloudmoney – Cash, Card or Crypto: Why the War on Cash Endangers Our Freedom (2022).

Prof. Dr. Barbara Brandl is an economic sociologist at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. In an eFin-Blogpost, she describes what the digitization of money has to do with social inequality ( German only, see the long version in English here).

Dr. Carola Westermeier is a social scientist and ZEVEDI Young Investigator at TU Darmstadt from April to December 2024. At re:publica 23, she gave a video-recorded keynote on the topic of Do we need the digital euro or (how) can money be democratic? (German only). Together with Marek Jessen, in an article in November 2023 she argued for the development of a digital euro as a public good (German only).

Jana Ringwald is a senior public prosecutor at the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt/Main. The video interviews by artist Rainer Lind (German only) provide an insight into her work.

Alexandra Keiner is a sociologist and researcher at the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin. In an interview entitled Of Frozen Accounts and Unequal Conditions in International Payment Transactions (German only), she talks about her research on “payment bans on the internet” and about her experience and conversations during the Market for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge.

Claus George is Head of Digitalization and Innovation at DZ Bank. His lecture Digital payments – yesterday, today, tomorrow (German only), which he gave in April 2022 as part of the series Understanding Crypto! at TU Darmstadt, is available as a video recording.

Dr. Gerald Nestler is an artist and author who deals with the topic of finance, among other things. For his projects, texts and lectures see here.

Jürgen Geuter is known as a critic of crypto assets, among other things. For current blog posts and a selection of publications and presentations, see his online presence here.

Suggested citation:

Igel, Sophia/Scholtysik, Philipp: Follow the [New] Money. Auf den Spuren von Krypto, Karten, Coins und Cash. Darmstadt: Zentrum verantwortungsbewusste Digitalisierung, 2024, Video 16:42 Minuten, online: