In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in response to the financial crisis. This text was the birth of a new paradigm, the blockchain.
Based on Nakamoto’s vision, people around the world created a new infrastructure that could be used to transfer assets, information, and much more. Since then, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, or applications such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become particularly well-known. But only insiders understand the exact contexts of these abstract terms.
To visually shed light on the cryptic darkness, Danny Franzreb embarked on a year-long journey during the boom phase of cryptocurrencies between 2021-2022 to visit miners, investors, and fortune seekers who were early adopters of the opportunities offered by these digital currencies. The resulting work uses striking imagery to document places and people engaged in the crypto world—from small basement prospectors to industrial mining farms, or from installations, cooling units, cable forests, and industrial ruins in Russia to the first high-tech factories with sustainable production in Sweden. Texts by the authors Holly Roussell (specialist in contemporary art and photography, curator at UCCA, Center for Contemporary Art, China) and Anika Meier (curator and author specializing in digital art and NFTs, Hamburg) complement Danny Franzreb’s images.
Danny Franzreb (*1979) is a photographer and professor of media design & user experience at the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences. His award-winning work explores the transformative effects of modern society.