the article written by Alden is a masterclass on the history of money, which are the characteristics that made different “things” become money, how fiat money is breaking the financial system and why bitcoin is currently our best bet.

it is quite a long article, so if anyone prefers the bitcoin audible made a reading of it available here.

185 sats \ 0 replies \ @sb 5 Aug

"During World War II, when the Japanese Empire invaded regions throughout Asia, they would confiscate hard currency from the locals and issue their own paper currency in its place, which is referred to as “invasion money“. These conquered peoples would be forced to save and use a currency that had no backing and ultimately lost all of its value over time, and this was a way for Japan to extract their savings while maintaining a temporary unit of account in those regions."

Lyn Alden is a treasure - this is exceptionally well written.

Monetary policy being used as a weapon of war is a grotesque yet revealing portrayal of the perils of Fiat money.

Money, according to most Economics books, needs to fulfill these three main functions in order to be considered as such: 1) be a medium of exchange (the most important imao), 2) store of value and, 3) unit of account.

If any item/thing can satisfy the condition of being a medium of exchange in a certain society, then that can be considered a currency. I remember I once heard about the fact that in Zimbabwe, because of the hyperinflation they were experiencing and the complete devaluation of their fiat system, people started using cows as a medium of exchange. I don't know how they came to adopt that as a way of exchaging their goods and services, but I guess it was because there was consensus and people had confidence in such system.

As for the store of value function, I suppose that if something is to be considered as money, it needs to preserve its value throughout time. It's for saving and investing purposes. And that's why fiat money (specially certain currencies such as the Argentinian Peso or the Venezuelan Bolívar) isn't a good alternative in this case due to the fact that monetary authorities keep printing bills to pay for debts and over expenses, without fiat being backed by the same amount of production of goods and services in the market. Thus, fiat/cash loses its value as time goes by. Fiat might be great as a medium of exchange (as people use it to purchase goods and services in daily life, so that's the short run) but it's terrible as a store of value (the long run.)

Finally, the unit of account function of money is related to the need to serve as a the base of comparison for prices and record debts. It's for measurement and accountability purposes.

This is just fantastic, I'll recommend also to add more value to this, there's Szabo's essay "Shelling Out: the origins of money" (2005), yet another masterpiece where you learn about money being a natural thing...yes, animals also use currency but not like us.

10 sats \ 0 replies \ @gmd 5 Aug

I really enjoyed Breedlove's interview series with Saylor.

10 sats \ 0 replies \ @harsh 5 Aug

Money can be a tool for liberation but it can also be a tool for enslavement