In this part we examine the Voucher-Safe economy, trust, security and software.
How’s this for a startup venture – Digital Gold Currency: a universally used currency that can be trusted by all, without the risk of debasement or fraud. Sounds pretty good, right?
Well over the past year, that’s exactly what I’ve worked on, and I’ve certainly discovered a few things along the way.
The business’ founders, Chris Odom (Fellow Traveler) and Johann Gevers aim to make this ‘financial system 2.0’ possible by developing commercial versions of the Open Transactions digital finance library. This software will allow digital finance entrepreneurs to startup micropayment services, financial markets, community currencies, escrow services, and many others all without depending on the traditional banking or legal system.
Johann, Monetas’ CEO, recently shared with me his thoughts on finance, his belief in decentralized systems and his plans for Monetas.
Digital Gold Currency is a fantastic idea. Gold enjoys thousands of years of history as an excellent currency and store of value. It is a form of money that is constantly chosen by the market and that needs no legislation to support its value. Gold is stable, solid and cannot be pulled out of thin air. With modern technology gold can be used as a currency online without any more effort than it takes to check your email. Brilliant!
But as DGC’s were starting to take off and be recognized for their many benefits, the rug was pulled out from under the industry with the prosecution of e-gold. The old DGC business model is centralized and vulnerable to seizure, censorship and prohibitive regulation.
The Voucher-Safe system allows for a more decentralized, Anti-Money Laundering compliant way to anonymously exchange value. It’s DGC 2.0, a more flexible and resilient system where anything can be money. “The idea behind voucher-safe is that it isn’t about making just one thing money. Money can be gold, it can be existing national fiat currencies, it can be bitcoins, it can be silver, it can be anything of value that people want to exchange.”
The ECB recently released a report on “Virtual Currency Schemes”. It is, in parts, surprisingly well done. It includes a good definition of money, it recognizes that virtual currencies are ‘digital cash’, it discusses Austrian economics and even quotes Rothbard, Hayek and Mises! The guys that put this together are smart and understand “Virtual Currency Schemes” i.e. Bitcoin.
But the piece can be summed up with this line… Should Bitcoin ever truly catch on, it will damage the current banking system and threaten “financial stability”.
This piece was recently sent to me by “an old radical.” The message is perhaps a bit harsh, but I have to admit, all I can do is grimace and nod in agreement to this thesis… “Bitcoin and state banking systems are born enemies: only one can survive. If you are imagining that they can peacefully coexist, you are fooling yourself.”
Bitcoin is not about making rapid global transactions with little or no fee. Bitcoin is about preventing monetary tyranny. That is its raison d’être.
Would Hayek have been a fan of Bitcoin? Could ‘key disclosure’ be used to confiscate Bitcoins? Will we some day have gold backed Bitcoins?
A few interesting thoughts and links as a follow up to my last post on Bitcoin.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you sell your gold for Bitcoins. What I’m saying is although they may not realize it, Bitcoin is a goldbugs friend. It has a real chance of changing the way the average person thinks about money and that is good news for anyone who is not a fan of fiat.