Thursday , December 12 2019
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The author Jp Koning
Jp Koning
Working in the bowels of the finance industry. Blogging about monetary phenomena is my side gig.

JP Koning: Moneyness

Moneyness is an economics blog by JP Koning about economics, money and finance. He adds an unique perspective to money-related issues, and explains everything very clearly, this combination sets him apart.

A way to make anonymous online donations

Paying for things online usually means giving up plenty of privacy. But this needn't always be the case. Last night I donated to a local charity via their website and didn't have to give up any of my personal information. The trick for achieving a degree of online payments anonymity? Not bitcoin, Zcash, or Monero. I used a product created by old fashioned bankers: a non-reloadable prepaid debit card. (I wrote about these cards here and here). Had I used a credit card or PayPal, all sorts...

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Mooning over daylight overdrafts

Every few days for the last month or so I've been refreshing a Federal Reserve page that shows data about daylight overdrafts. For some reason the Fed only updates it every few months. I had been getting quite curious to see what happened during the great September interest rate spike. Well, finally the Fed has uploaded the data. If you don't know about the September rate spike, I'd suggest reading Nathan Tankus's tweet, listening to David Beckworth's podcast with Bill Nelson, or picking...

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In-game virtual items as a form of criminal money

A few weeks back Vice had an interesting story about Valve, a game maker, putting an end to trade in various in-game items because "worldwide fraud networks" had been using these items to "liquidate" their gains. You can see the blog post from Valve here: "Why make this change? In the past, most key trades we observed were between legitimate customers. However, worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using CS:GO keys to liquidate their gains. At this point, nearly all key...

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Notes from an inter-planetary monetary anthropologist

My work as an inter-planetary monetary anthropologist has brought me to dozens of different planets to study their monetary systems. The monetary system of the most recent planet that I visited, the planet of Zed in the Xv2 galaxy, falls into the same classification as the systems on Vigil X and Earth (which I last visited in 1998 and, according to other anthropologists, hasn't changed much). As on Earth, markets on Zed tend to lie towards the free end of the spectrum. Zedians can own...

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“Controllable anonymity”

Reuters and Coindesk report that that the People's Bank of China's imminent central bank digital currency (CBDC) is going to have a feature called controllable anonymity. Perhaps some wires have been crossed in the translation, but it'd be hard to come up with a more Orwellian piece of double speak than this. Plenty of people on Twitter are sneering. But in this post I'm going to take China's side, if only tepidly. None of the news articles have made much of an effort to explain...

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From unknown wallet to unknown wallet

Antony Lewis recently published a useful article on stablecoins. In it he describes something called "permissioned pseudonymity". In traditional payments systems, people only get to access to payments services after opening an account. This requires that they provide suitable identification. So these systems are not pseudonymous. Usage and personal identity are linked.Stablecoins operators, on the other hand, sever this link. Users can transfer stablecoins to other users without providing...

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Bitcoin, 11-years in

Satoshi's first email [source] Eleven years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto announced the bitcoin whitepaper to the world. Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, recently celebrated this milestone with a retrospective. I'm going to remix Coinbase's narrative to tell a different account of bitcoin's last 11-years.The thing that fooled us all for a while, myself included, is that we all thought bitcoin was solving a monetary or payments problem. It was labelled a coin, after all, and coins fall...

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Is the strength of U.S. sanctions due to U.S. dollar hegemony?

I often hear the idea that the U.S. dollar is the means by which the U.S. implements sanctions. And since the U.S. dollar pervades all corners of the globe, the U.S. government's sanctions are uniquely powerful. For instance, Reuters reports that Russian resource giant Rosneft is shifting all its contracts over to euros in order to "shield its transactions from U.S. sanctions."Another version of this idea was recently floated by David Marcus, the head of the Libra payments project: "The...

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A free market case for CBDC?

Central bank digital currency, or CBDC, is a form of highly-liquid digital debt that most governments have, till now, held back from issuing. But there is a growing push to change this. Free market economists are generally not big fans of CBDC. They see it as government encroachment on the banking sector.In this post I'm going to push back on the free market consensus. (This post was inspired after reading posts by Tyler Cowen and Scott Sumner).Look, we're always going to have a...

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Getting up to monetary mischief

By Harcourt Romanticist [source] This post is dedicated to the protesters in Hong Kong. I am awed at how courageous they have been in the face of continuing pressure from China's Communist party. The same regime is complicit in persecuting Uighur Muslims and imprisoning two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. There are all sorts of creative forms of non-violent mischief that citizens can use to protest against oppressive governments. This post explores a sub-category of non-violent...

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