That is, once you have defined the unit of exchange, you can measure the price of any other item in terms of that unit. Another theme of the lecture is the relationship between the nature of money, the scope for changes in the overall level of prices, and constraints on or opportunities for discretionary monetary policy. Fiat money refers to money that is issued by governments, and the value of each currency is determined by the governments themselves. Furthermore, the value of each currency is determined by the country. The Indian rupee, US dollars, British pound, and other fiat currencies are examples of fiat money. Commodity money, on the other hand, is exchangeable money that is linked to the value of the commodity it is made of.

From Commodity to Fiat and Now to Crypto: What Does History Tell … – nber.org

From Commodity to Fiat and Now to Crypto: What Does History Tell ….

Posted: Thu, 03 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT [source]

So when the economy starts to grow; the commodity must be able to supplied and represent the new goods in the market. What fiat money does is cut ties with commodity money and therefore reduce demand for such commodities. This creates a greater level of price stability as consumers are not so prone to store it.

Representative money with examples

This form of truncation can be supported by the use of imaging technology that allows the digital compare the costs and benefits of commodity money and fiat money. images to be captured and archived and used for information purposes or, perhaps, used in lieu of the original check. Currently, this arrangement must be agreed upon by the parties to the check, which may include all banks in the stream of collection, and the check writer. The Federal Reserve Board is developing a draft law that would facilitate check truncation by removing several existing legal impediments to the use of electronics in check processing.

What is an example of commodity money?

Examples of commodity money are gold and silver coins. Gold coins were valuable because they could be used in exchange for other goods or services, but also because the gold itself was valued and had other uses. Commodity money gave way to the next stage-representative money.

Most of the U.S. currency circulating today is in the form of Federal Reserve notes with the green Treasury seal. Representative money is paper currency that can be exchanged for a fixed amount of a valuable commodity, usually gold or silver. Paper currency is convenient because it weighs little and much larger denominations can be printed that weigh no more than single units of currency. For instance, in 1715, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia issued tobacco notes which could be converted to a specified amount of tobacco on demand, but were much easier to carry and to make large payments. Fiat money is easy to carry and exchange, which is why countries adopted fiat in the first place.

What is Commodity Money, Representative Money, and Fiat Money?

compare the costs and benefits of commodity money and fiat money.s can and do mismanage their economies, resulting in hyperinflation, bubbles and other economic meltdowns. Fiat currency is also more susceptible to counterfeit than commodities or cryptocurrencies. The ever-changing value of fiat currencies is shown in foreign exchange, the global marketplace for exchanging national currencies. The gold and silver standards are monetary systems in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold or silver. Gold and silver can be used as jewelry and for some industrial and medicinal purposes, so they have value apart from their use as money.


The Fed has worried that this decline in the https://www.beaxy.com/ of required reserve balances could result in increased volatility of the funds rate and require the Fed to alter the way it conducts monetary policy. The concern here is the same that would present itself if the spread of network money substituted for transactions deposits and further reduced the level of reserves. The next important evolution was the introduction of « representative » paper money.

Whilst the US dollar has been around for centuries, it only recently became fiat money. Up until 1971, holders of the US dollar could readily exchange it for gold. It was only in August 1971 that President Nixon subsequently cut its ties with gold, in what was to become known as the ‘Nixon Shock’. Central banks generally control the supply of fiat money, but this was historically under the power of domestic governments. Fiat money is a currency whereby its value comes from government decree.

What is the difference between fiat money and commodity money?

Commodity money has intrinsic value because it has other uses besides being a medium of exchange. Fiat money serves only as a medium of exchange, because its use as such is authorized by the government; it has no intrinsic value.

Conversely, fiat money meaning signifies a currency backed by the full credit of the government. Thus, it triggers immense security through decreased demand for commodities. This also helps consumers avoid their storage and brings in surged cost security. Another important concept to know is that fiat currency is legal tender. Being a legal tender means that it is recognized by law to be used as a payment method.

Payment is never made in the case of fiat money; instead, it is only discharged. On the other hand, commodity money brings the transaction to a close. In a commodity monetary system, the final payment is always made in the commodity that was used as money in the transaction. The commodity is utilized as a final payment because there is no obligation and receiving the commodity as payment terminates all previous agreements. Volatility will be increased not only because of its limited supply, but because cryptocurrencies do not have fiat value, so they must be converted back to fiat currency to be spent, which will further exacerbate its volatility. Although some businesses, like Tesla, are advertising they will accept Bitcoin as payment, few businesses would be able to withstand the extreme risk of a sharp decline in prices, so paying in Bitcoin will always be extremely limited.


There are different currencies used all over the world in various countries, and there is a lot being used throughout history as well. These currencies can be classified into two major categories–commodity standard and legal tender. The last time we were in a similar debt and monetary policy situation was the 1930s and 1940s, where currency devaluations and war occurred. That doesn’t mean those things have to happen, but basically, we’re in a very macro-heavy environment where structural currency changes tend to occur. There is no way to directly measure technological deflation; it can only be estimated. During the late 1800s and early 1900s USA, which is when the country became a rising power globally, the country was on a gold standard and in a period of structural deflation.

Ultimately these innovations in the payment system have proved efficient and cost-effective for users. E-money may have a similar experience, with natural setbacks at first, further evolutionary development, and eventually a growing acceptance from the general public. During the deep economic troubles of the 1930s, many countries experiencing prolonged deflations, including the United States, decided it was better to abandon gold in favor of much more elastic credit and fiat monies. The quantity of the commodity money is usually determined by the market. The physical characteristics of the good should be durable enough to be reused several times and retain their usefulness in future exchanges. A perishable item or one that degrades rapidly after being used in exchanges will be less usable in future transactions.

The creation of units of measurements such as ounces and pounds paved the way for such. As a result, we are able to purchase different goods at different prices. If we cannot measure money, we cannot measure how much we are willing to pay. If there was only a $50 note in circulation; it makes it incredibly difficult to buy something at $1.

Bitcoins solve this problem by using a blockchain to create and store the Bitcoins and to record transactions. Blockchains are time-stamped, append-only logs that provide an auditable database, based on a consensus protocol. All Bitcoins and their transactions are stored in the blockchain, and nowhere else. People keep the cryptographic keys used to transact on the blockchain, but the Bitcoins and transactions exist only within the blockchain. Furthermore, many copies of the blockchain are stored on the Internet in various places. New blocks are created and blockchains are maintained by people called miners, who must solve a cryptographic puzzle that will be used to encrypt the next block.

We can see that bitcoin is a more ideal candidate to be a medium of trade than fiat currency. While fiat currency is more generally accepted and has a stable value, these are subjective measurements and can change through development over time. After the GALA Gulf War, the northern, mostly Kurdish area of Iraq was separated from the rest of Iraq though the enforcement of the no-fly-zone. Iraqi citizens in southern Iraq were given three weeks to exchange their old dinars for the new ones. In the northern part of Iraq, citizens could not exchange their notes and so they simply continued to use the old ones. Other functions of money are to serve as a unit of account and as a store of value.

With KYC in place, then national cryptocurrencies can be used to write smart contracts and found autonomous companies. It can then also be used to store proof of ownership—everything from ownership of digital books to cars and properties and more. If implemented properly, it can be a tool to integrate the nation’s unbanked into the existing financial system. When all of the above are executed properly, then the full potential of a national cryptocurrency can be realized. By implementing the necessary KYC features, the currency can be made accepted by the banking industry, can make taxation simple , and can become a platform for a host of other application.

Barter System vs. Currency System: Definition and How They Work – Investopedia

Barter System vs. Currency System: Definition and How They Work.

Posted: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:52:01 GMT [source]

In short, each major type of money has some advantages and disadvantages. Monetary systems, like everything else in economic life, are subject to trade-offs. What is best for one society may not be best for another and, indeed, may change over time.

However, the return of the gold standard led to a recession, unemployment, and deflation in these economies. This state of affairs lasted until the Great Depression (1929–1939) forced countries off the gold standard. Commodity money has intrinsic value because it has other uses besides being a medium of exchange. Fiat money serves only as a medium of exchange, because its use as such is authorized by the government; it has no intrinsic value. Houses, office buildings, land, works of art, and many other commodities serve as a means of storing wealth and value. Money differs from these other stores of value by being readily exchangeable for other commodities.

  • More generally, while the claim asserts that imperfect monitoring is necessary for monetary trade to be essential, it says nothing about sufficient conditions.
  • As financial assets other than checkable deposits have become more liquid, economists have had to develop broader measures of money that would correspond to economic activity.
  • Oh by the way there’s only one door out of here and my guy is out there with a 9mm and you can’t get out of here without one of these cards.
  • Even though we no longer use commodities such as gold as a form of money; it still has value as jewellery or gilding.
  • Fortunately, we already have some experience with earlier innovations that have reduced the demand for reserves.

Ron Paul, a US Congressman, wants to go on the gold standard because its supply cannot be abused by the government. Bitcoin is a new type of money based on cryptography, where supply is limited by its own rules. Although gold and Bitcoins are sometimes used to pay for goods and services, they are most often held as speculative investments and as a hedge against inflation. Such regulation of the economy is completely impossible if the money supply cannot be regulated.


That is, acquiring money today can weaken the person’s future truth-telling constraints about today’s actions. If we think of fiat money as a physical and durable object like currency, then, counterfeiting aside, it can serve that role. Others can say “show me” if the person tries to overstate holdings of it. Phelps placed money in the utility function of his representative consumer and derived the optimal inflation and wage tax, which is assumed to be the only other source of government revenue. A government needing to raise revenue should then optimally tax both liquidity and wages. As part of this movement to electronic payments, the federal government encourages recipients to receive benefit payments electronically, and an increasing number of taxpayers are filing electronically.