From Primitive Barter to Inflationary Dollar: A Warless Economic Weapon of Mass Destruction

50 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2020

See all articles by John Taskinsoy

John Taskinsoy

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

Date Written: February 21, 2020


Trade among people dates back to prehistoric times; before invention of money, a primitive system of exchange called barter existed. Barter has reemerged as an alternative to the dollar, attributable to high-magnitude financial crises such as the 2006 mortgage debacle and the ensuing global credit crisis (2008). It has been observed that bartering is more frequently used in malignant economic times than in benign economic times. The advantage of barter is that it does not revolve around expanding or contracting the aggregate money supply via credit, therefore people do not end up with massive debt hangover. The evolution of American imperialism and the dollar’s hegemony are closely interlinked. History has witnessed that imperialism was in America’s DNA even before its birth when European settlers arrived in the new world and began killing American Indians to gain land; at that moment, the seeds of an imperial nation were planted and flourished with more blood. President Trump and some branches of the US government feel agitated that there is a situation of diminishing U.S. power (and dollar). Anonymity of Bitcoin (pseudoanonymous) and the upcoming Libra is exactly one of these ire situations; just to protect the dollar’s hegemony, the Trump administration chooses to brutally attack cryptocurrencies as Trump said “one real currency in the USA”. But regulators must be real careful because running headlong into backlash to Libra just to punish Facebook due to its tarnished reputation of past privacy abuse and exploitation of users’ data (i.e. Cambridge Analytica) could adversely affect any potential future innovation, and in the process, harm consumers. Like any life-changing event or invention, Bitcoin and Libra (i.e. cryptocurrencies) will continue to forge ahead unabated regardless of ongoing efforts by doubters, pessimists, doomsayers, skeptics, disbelievers, and short-sighted/blindfolded politicians who are very much eager to put another nail in the coffin. One wonders, when will it end? How many more lives must be perished and the world’s resources must be exploited to serve the U.S. to keep enjoying its “exorbitant privilege” of dollar hegemony?

Keywords: Barter System; Bitcoin; Dollar Hegemony; Sanction Power; Foreign Policy; Libra

JEL Classification: C52, C53, E37, E42, E44, E51, E59, G21, G28, G32

Suggested Citation

Taskinsoy, John, From Primitive Barter to Inflationary Dollar: A Warless Economic Weapon of Mass Destruction (February 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

John Taskinsoy (Contact Author)

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) ( email )

94300 Kota Samarahan
Sarawak, Sarawak 94300

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