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Cryptocurrency Challenges Sovereign Currency
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George C. Georgiou, World Economics, March 2020
All national and international monetary structures have evolved to assist in the creation and management of sovereign fiat currencies. This sovereign currency status quo was suddenly upended with the arrival of the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, in 2008 which introduced a peer-to-peer digital fiat currency without the need of a central banking system, through a trustless, fungible and tamper-resistant distributed accounting system known as blockchain. The response to the threat posed by cryptocurrency has ranged from declaring it illegal, attempting to regulate it, ignoring it, treating it as a commodity and/or like any other financial asset and regulating it as such; or more recently seriously considering state-backed digital currency. Presently the assessment appears to be that of ‘co-existence’ with central banks providing national/sovereign currency, primarily digital currency, and cryptocurrency vying with gold as a back-up or ‘insurance’ against the perils of a sovereign fiat currency.
On Measuring the Money Supply
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Steve H. Hanke, World Economics, March 2019
Oskar Morgenstern warned in The Limits of Economics (1937), that the formulation of economic policy was handicapped by the lack of relevant data and errors in its measurement. In this paper, the measurement of the money supply is used to illustrate Morgenstern's point. The most relevant measure of money for purposes of nominal national income determination is an inclusive, broad money metric. Most central banks fail to report the most inclusive broad money metrics, and what is reported are measured with the use of simple-sum aggregates. Divisia monetary aggregates are superior to simple-sum aggregates. These superior measures are used and data are reported for the United States by William A. Barnett at the Center for Financial Stability in New York.
CryptoRuble: From Russia with Love
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Zura Kakushadze & Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, World Economics, December 2018
A large number of decentralized cryptocurrencies has emerged since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, with a total market size exceeding $170bn. Recent reports suggest that Russia will issue its government-backed cryptocurrency, CryptoRuble, in the middle of 2019. Russia’s primary goal in issuing a government cryptocurrency is to free its monetary system from the controls exerted by the Federal Reserve and their allied central banks. Government-issued cryptocurrencies will increase: Large sovereign states have the technological know-how and means to do this, but small and/or developing countries may be forced to outsource issuance of their government-backed cryptocurrencies to larger states.

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