04 Apr '13, 3pm

Sorry, Libertarians, History Shows Bitcoin Isn't the Future

As we consider the digital-currency phenomenon that is Bitcoin, bear in mind that there are, broadly speaking, two accounts of the origin and history of money. One is elegant, intuitive and taught in many introductory economics textbooks. The other is true. The financial economist Charles Goodhart, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, laid out the two views in a 1998 paper , “The Two Concepts of Money: Implications for the Analysis of Optimal Currency Areas.” The first view, the “M View,” is named after the Austrian 19th century economist and historian Karl Menger, whose 1882 essay “On the Origins of Money” is the canonical statement of an argument that goes back to Aristotle: As subsistence farming gives way to more complex economies, individuals want to trade. Simple barter (eight bushels of wheat for one barrel of wine) quickly becomes ine...

Full article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-04/sorry-libertaria...

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