Bitcoin vs. Sovereign Money. On the Lure and Limits of Monetary Reforms

Axel T. Paul

Abstract


Although indispensable and in daily use, money and more specifically money creation in our two-layered fractional reserve banking system is still poorly recognized by social science at large. Its main features are outlined in order to identify (a) money’s double nature to be private and public at once and (b) inflation and speculative excess as two of its inherent dangers. Bicoin and sovereign money are discussed as prominent examples of, on the one hand, private or libertarian and, on the other hand state-oriented or social-democratic monetary reforms, each intended to solve one of the two systemic problems our currency order. The new money’s respective advantages notwithstanding, it is shown that neither Bitcoin nor sovereign money can overcome money’s double nature or realize the dream of an eventually neutral money.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2016.9.2.912