Synthetic Commodity Money
The Cato Institute; University of Georgia
April 10, 2013
This paper considers reform possibilities posed by a type of base money that has heretofore been overlooked in the literature on monetary economics. I call this sort of money "synthetic" commodity money because it shares features with both commodity money and fiat money, as these are usually defined, without fitting the conventional definition of either; examples of such money are Bitcoin and the "Swiss dinars" that served as the currency of northern Iraq for over a decade. I argue that the attributes of synthetic commodity money are such as might supply the basis for a monetary regime that does not require oversight by any monetary authority, yet is capable of providing for all such changes in the money stock as may be needed to achieve a high degree of macroeconomic stability.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: commodity money, fiat money, Bitcoin, Swiss dinar
JEL Classification: E02, E42, E52
Date posted: February 6, 2012 ; Last revised: April 21, 2013