Why New York City Needs Its Own Cryptocurrency - Issue 57: Communities

Why New York City Needs Its Own Cryptocurrency - Issue 57: Communities

Money used to be local. The first non-precious metal coins emerged as a natural consequence of trade, and were seldom accepted as currency outside the city-state on the Grecian coast that minted them. Then nation-states emerged and central banking was invented as an institution. Fiat currencies were deigned into circulation and the connection between money and place was mostly lost. Today, a dollar printed in West Point is the same dollar wherever it is found, whether it’s Dubuque or Dubai. It derives its value from the law of the United States and that law has no physical home. The United States of America, like all other countries, is a polygon on a map, a theoretical construct, a policy document.

As the dust settles on the haboob that cryptocurrencies have become over the last year or so and we try to find things of lasting value from the wreckage, we should keep in mind this missing piece of the puzzle: All resilient things start local. To find inherent value and stability digital currencies need to ground themselves somewhere. They need to go local. A theoretical construct is no longer enough. Digital currencies need something more tangible than just value by decree.…
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