In his 2006 high-tech thriller, Daemon, Daniel Suarez tells the story of a computer program that is activated after the genius millionaire that created it dies of cancer. The program essentially owned itself because, improbably, it had access to its creator’s wealth via shell corporations that it controlled. As a result, it did reap the profit and loss of its actions. What was speculative fiction in 2006, came one step closer to reality in 2009 with the advent of Bitcoin. Today, writes Jerry Brito, there’s nothing inconceivable about a program that funds and runs itself without the intervention of humans.
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