08 Jul '13, 1pm

It's Just Money via @CatoUnbound #bitcoin

Coins and other forms of physical money are difficult to transport and secure, so leaving the money in a bank and trading notes redeemable for money was a natural monetary innovation. The rise of paper money is the subject of long and detailed histories, but the short story, again, is that a written document could stand in for coin and other forms of money if it provided a reliable promise that it could be redeemed for the underlying money. As with metals, private paper money suffered from nonstandardization and susceptibility to counterfeiting that the relatively sophisticated administrative systems in governments were better positioned to control. They could also tax and outlaw competitive money. Prohibitive taxes and bond-collateral requirements dating to the Civil War have long prevented U.S. financial firms from challenging the Federal Reserve’s currency monopoly.

Full article: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2013/07/08/jim-harper/its-jus...

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