Re: Currency based on Energy

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 05:06:02 MST

----- Original Message -----
On Friday, February 22, 2002 12:07 AM Chen Yixiong, Eric wrote:
> although the idea of a currency based on energy started
> as a joke (or what seems like it) on the Extropians
> group, I think it has some validity as a currency system.
> Since we can quantify energy quite easily, I think
> we can seriously consider a
> currency based on energy. A currency based on
> apparently valuable things like gold and silver
> would rely too much on subjective valuing and
> one based on a government can prove unreliable.

All economic value is, at root, subjective. How do you define "money"?
The most objective defintion I've seen of it is the most traded
commodity. In, e.g., any modern economy, it's quite easy to see what
money is. It arose spontaneously, but now government controls it.
Despite government control, money remains the most traded commodity --
roughly half of all transactions. Since money should arise
spontaneously and be based on what people (through the market want),
even your idea for money would have to pass that test. I.e., it would
need to be accepted by actual market participants -- enough so to push
out all rivals. Failing this, it's a mere academic exercise.

Not here, a [spontaneously] chosen currency need not be gold or
silver -- though through much of history these were the monies of
choice. Even so, currencies other than gold and silver have arisen in
the past and even are used in some limited areas right now, such as
cigarettes in immediate postWar Germany and in prisons today. In fact,
Kevin Dowd argues that [a return to] laissez faire banking now would
probably result in some sort of basket of commodities or an index
standard for money -- to make money as stable as possible. See his
_Laissez-Faire Banking_ and [if you can find a cheap copy] _Competition
and Finance: A Reinterpretation of Financial and Monetary Economics_.


Daniel Ust

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