Michael Casey

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Expert/ Senior Advisor at MIT Media Lab / Consultant / Public Speaker / Former WSJ Journalist/ Author


About Me

Over 25 years working mostly as a journalist in Perth, London, Bangkok, Jakarta, Buenos Aires and New York, I've aquired an eclectic, internationalist set of interests. Most recently, they've coalesced around studying the social and economic phenomena unleashed by digital technology and globalization.

When I recognized the social benefits promised by the blockchain technology thatunderpinsbitcoin, I decided I wanted to be a part of the movement to bring it to practical implementation.

So, having closed the curtain on 18 years at The Wall Street Journal,whereI mostly covered global economic andfinancialtrends and was recently a senior columnist, my new home is the nascentDigital Currency Initiative at MIT Media Lab. There, our team is working on blockchain-based solutions for everything from financial inclusion and welfare payments to voting and identity.

I alsowork as a consultant to financial institutions and other businesses looking to understand the challenges and opportunities posed by this disruptive new technology. And I do a lot of public speaking at events of all sizes and themes,for which I am represented by theLavin Agency.

Digital Currency Initiative

The Digital Currency Initiative at MIT Media Lab was launched in 2015 to create a neutral research institution aimed at furthering scholarship around the development of digital-currency technology. In addition to providing a non-profit vehicle for funding the vital work of bitcoin's core development team, the initiative has three primary objectives.

As laid out in an introductory blog post by DCI Director Brian Forde, a former advisor to the Obama White House, those goals are as follows:

  1. Conduct research and engage more students on digital currency topics that address questions about security, stability, scalability, privacy, and economics.
  2. Convene governments, nonprofits, and the private sector to research and test concepts that have high social impact.
  3. Provide evidence-based research to support existing and future policy and standards.


I am the author of three highly acclaimed, commercially published books. Click on the icons for more information.

Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image (Vintage, 2009)

"[A] fascinating new book…bracing and keenly observed…Although newspaper and magazine articles have traversed this ground before, none have done so with the thoroughness and globe-trotting ardor of “Che’s Afterlife.” Mr. Casey has written a book that is not only a cultural history of an image, but also a sociopolitical study of the mechanisms of fame. It is a book about how ideas travel and mutate in this age of globalization, how concepts of political ideology have increasingly come to be trumped by notions of commerce and cool and chic…”

—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Learn more at www.chesafterlife.com

The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Financial System is Destroying the Middle Class (Crown, 2012)

"We’re in a global financial crisis, and Casey has
written a truly global book about the winners and losers. The Unfair Trade not only makes an impressive journalistic effort at explaining how a broken international financial system affects ordinary people around the world but Casey also offers a set of policies for building a more balanced system that will restore trust―and be better prepared to handle the next crisis. I learned a lot from this remarkable book."

―Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capital and chairman of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy

Learn more at www.theunfairtrade.com

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order (St. Martin's Press, 2015)

“Money, ‘The Age of Cryptocurrency’ ­explains, is ‘a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value.’ But for Schopenhauer it was ‘human happiness in the abstract,’ and for Dostoyevsky ‘coined liberty.’ These passion metaphors reflect the febrile excitement about Bitcoin that Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey, both of The Wall Street Journal, share in their wide-ranging, interesting account of the origin, past and possible future of this virtual-money wannabe.”

– Emanuel Derman, The New York Times

Learn more at www.theageofcryptocurrency.com

Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image (Vintage, 2009)

Written during my assignment as WSJ's Buenos Aires bureau chief, Che's Afterlife explores the history, economics and cultural dimensions of the global social phenomenon surrounding the most reproduced photo in history: Alberto Korda's famous image of Ernesto "Che" Guevara

Buy at Amazon

The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Financial System is Destroying the Middle Class (Crown, 2012)

A globetrotting journey to discover the interconnected, international lines of finance, trade and labor in which lay the root cause of our recent economic meltdown.

Buy at Amazon

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order (St. Martin's Press, 2015)

Co-authored with Paul Vigna. The definitive account, many have said, of the arrival of a technology that heralds a new era in economic relationships and social organization.

Buy at Amazon


Most of my career was spent at Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal, though I have been widely published in other news outlets as well, including The Washington Post, Foreign Policy Magazine, Foreign Affairs and many other publications. I began my career at The West Australian newspaper in Perth, Western Australia. .

A full collection of my most recent work at WSJ, including my regular "Horizons" column on global economic affairs, the daily Macro Horizons roundup, and Paul Vigna's and my "Bitbeat" posts on the comings and goings of bitcoinworld, can be found here.

Here is a selection of my more noteworthy recent columns and articles:

Profits Meets Philanthropy in ‘Pay-For-Success’ Investments

Bold Bet that Banking is Poised for Serious Disruption

Greece's Debt Battle Exposes Deeper Eurozone Flaws

Broken Bond Market Complicates Fed's Plans to Raise Rates

Interest in Bitcoin Grows on Wall Street

On 'Global Divestment Day" Some Climate Activists Look to Courts

As Switzerland Moves to Negative Rates, Finance Enters Uncharted Territory

Bitcoin and the Digital-Currency Revolution (WSJ Review -- Adapted essay with Paul Vigna from The Age of Cryptocurrency)

Why Bitcoin's Erratic Price Doesn't Matter

World's Unbanked En Route to Financial Inclusion With Mobile Money

Ebola: Gauging Economic Fear Factor

Move Over Economists, Time to Give Physicists a Shot

Public Speaking

I am an accomplished public speaker with vast experience speaking before audiences of different sizes and makeup. I can speak to a range of topics, from global finance and economics to the impact of blockchain technology on specific industries and society at large. I'm available for public events, large and small, and internal private or corporate gatherings. Inquiries for engagements can be made to the Lavin Speakers Agency.


Hedgeable's Bitcoin: No Boundaries, New York, Feb. 19, 2015

Authors at Google, Mountain View, April 15, 2015.

Cueball Conference, Boston/Cambridge, June 22, 2015 (Shot with 3D Camera)

UPCOMING EVENTS (with links):

Coindesk's Consensus 2015 Conference, New York, Sep. 10, 2105

ATM & Mobile Innovation Summit, Washington D.C., Sep. 11, 2015

Money 2020, Las Vegas, October 25-28, 2015

Next: Money, San Francisco, March 14-15, 2016

ISITC Annual Industry Forum, Boston, March 20-23, 2016

Media Appearances

In addition to my print journalism, I have extensive appearance in TV, online video, radio and documentary filmmaking. I was both a host and a guest on WSJ Live's online news shows and I make frequent appearances at other outlets. Below is a small selection of such appearances -- on Bloomberg, Reuters TV and CNBC.

Also, when you find 90 minutes to kill, I thoroughly recommend the Chevolution documentary directed by Trisha Ziff and Luis Lopez (link further below). I collaborated with the producers in its making, both as an advisor and an interviewee in 2009. It's a hip, illuminating look at Alberto Korda's iconic photo of Che Guevara, the subject of my first book, Che's Afterlife. I appear alongside a few somewhat better known mortals: Antonio Banderas, Gael Garcia Bernal, Tom Morello and Gerry Adams, to name a few...


For MIT blockchain projects, consulting work and speaking engagements:

New York

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