Saturday , October 20 2018
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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.

Bitcoin and the bubble theory of money

A few months ago Vijay Boyapati asked me to "steel-man" the bubble theory of money. The bubble theory of money, which can originally be found in a few old Moldbug posts, has been used by Vijay and others to explain the emergence of bitcoin and make predictions about its future.So here is my attempt. I am using not only an article by Vijay as my source text, but also one by Koen Swinkels, a regular commenter on this blog. Both are interesting and smart posts, it's worth checking them out if...

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Are Argentinians paying for Uber rides with bitcoins?

Earlier this month the following tweet elbowed its way onto my Twitter timeline: The tweet comes from Anthony Pompliano, aka Pomp, who works at Morgan Creek Digital Asset where he runs a cryptocurrency fund.So, have I been wrong all along about bitcoin? As anyone who has been reading me for a while will know, I've been skeptical of the bitcoin-as-money story. Rather than fulfilling Satoshi Nakamoto's vision as being a next generation medium of exchange, bitcoin has gone mainstream as a new...

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Did Brexit break the banknote?

Nations never experience year-over-year declines in cash in circulation. Sweden (which I wrote about here, here, and here) is one of the rare exceptions. India is another, but this was due to its notorious botched demonetization attempt (which I wrote about here, here, here, and here). But now the UK seems to be joining this small group of outliers. Why does a nation's cash in circulation generally grow consistently from one year to the next? While economies do experience the odd...

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“The Narrow Bank”

 A strange new bank called TNB, or The Narrow Bank, recently applied to get a clearing account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, only to be refused. Funny enough, TNB is run by the New York Fed's former director of research James McAndrews, who left in 2016 in order to get the bank up and running. McAndrews and TNB are now suing the New York Fed.There's a backstory to all of this kerfuffle. While still employed by the New York Fed, McAndrews coauthored a paper in 2015 entitled...

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Norbert’s gambit

I executed one of the oddest financial transactions of my life earlier this week. I did Norbert's Gambit.These days a big chunk of my income is in U.S. dollars. But since I live in Quebec, my expenses are all in Canadian dollars. To pay my bills, I need to convert this flow of U.S. dollars accumulating in my account to Canadian dollars. Outsiders may not realize how dollarized Canada is. Many of us Canadians maintain U.S. dollar bank accounts or carry around U.S. dollar credit cards....

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Europe’s SWIFT problem

SWIFT headquarters in Belgium (source) German foreign minister Heiko Maas recently penned an article in which he said that "it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system."So what exactly is Maas's quibble with SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication? SWIFT is a proprietary messaging system that banks can use...

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Two notions of fungibility

A few centuries ago, lack of fungibility used to be a big weakness of monetary systems. But technological and legal developments eventually solved the problem. Nascent systems like bitcoin are finding that they must wrestle all over again with fungibility issues.Fungibility exists when one member of a population of items is perfectly interchangeable with another. So for instance, because your grain of wheat can be swapped out with my grain without causing any sort of change to our relative...

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Tainted money

In many parts of the world, cash held in ATMs or in cash-in-transit vehicles is protected by so-called intelligent banknote neutralization technology. When a thief tries to force the ATM open, plastic packs filled with dye explode, spraying both the thief and the banknotes. These notes have now been demarcated as stolen. A shopkeeper may refuse to accept marked notes or may only accept them at a large discount to their face value. At this point, cash has ceased to be fungible. One banknote...

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The €300 million cash withdrawal

The eyes of the world are on one of history's largest cash withdrawals ever. Earlier this week, the Central Bank of Iran ordered its European banker, Hamburg-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG, to process a €300 million cash withdrawal. Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, is being asked to provide the notes. If the transaction is approved, these euros will be counted up, stacked, and sent via plane back to Iran. German authorities are still reviewing the details of the...

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Failed monetary technology

Archaic and ignored monetary technologies can be very interesting, especially when they teach us about newer attempts to update our monetary system. I recently stumbled on a neat monetary innovation from the bimetallic debate of the late 1800s, Nicholas Veeder's Republic of Eutopia coin: During the bimetallic debates of the late 1800s, one of the more interesting compromises put forward was Nicolas Veeder's cometallic standard. His model 'Republic of Eutopia' coins (1866) had a plug with...

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