[ExI] Must money be a state monopoly?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Tue Jun 10 19:32:00 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

> There are huge benefits to anyone who puts money into circulation.  That's
> why companies create stock, so they can pay for things like employees,
> other companies, in the stock they create.  And it's even more so, for a
> government.  Companies can't print more stock, because they want their
> stock value to go up (i.e. stock deflation), while a Government wants their
> currency to inflate some each year, so they must put lots of new money into
> circulation to keep it from deflating in value.  And if your government
> supplies the exchange currency for the rest of the world, that benefit is
> HUGE!  Every time some libyan hides a US $100 under a mattress, the US must
> print up another $100, and do something like buy a bomber, or something,
> with it to keep the value of that $100 from going up to much.  The U.S.
> government provides way more services, than they collect in taxes because
> of this.  The Federal Reserve pays for government expenses, not the other
> way around.
> The question for society is, what should the money that is put into
> circulation, at a significant rate to keep deflation at bay, do to benefit
> that society?  Most societies figure it is the government's job to figure
> out what to do with it.  Sadly, governments spend way to much of it on war
> and the ability to destroy all other hierarchies.
> A big problem of all Alt currencies to date is all of them are dumb
> currencies - i.e. they have some fixed dumb algorithmic rate at which they
> get into society.  Currently Bitcoin is producing more than 10% / year.  If
> a country produced that much, they'd have terrible inflation.  And the only
> benefit bitcoin miners add to society is consumption of energy, huge carbon
> footprint, and so on.
> What is needed, is some intelligent system to figure out how to get new
> currency distributed, to accomplish what the holders of the currency want
> to do with it (i.e. not more aircraft carriers), in a leaderless, non
> hierarchically controlled, amplified wisdom of the crowd way.  That's the
> goal of Canonizer.com going cryptographically public with Canon Coins.  How
> many new coins that go into production will be determined by the amplified
> wisdom of the crowd, and the work done to get that currency into society
> will be, again, determined by the amplification of the wisdom of the crowd,
> canoniztion process, or in effect by the will of the holders of the coin.
> In other words, it will do what the holders of the currency want it to do,
> not what some hierarchy wants to do with it (i.e. just fear and destroy
> other hierarchies.)
> Obviously, any intelligent currency will always out compete and blow away
> any dumb currency.
> great topic, by the way, thanks for all the great responses so far,
> everyone.
> On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 4:28 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
>> Tara Maya <tara at taramayastales.com> , 9/6/2014 11:25 PM:
>> I'm aware of the libertarian roots of Bitcoin and other digital
>> currencies, which some individuals hope (and some states fear) can become
>> true currencies not printed and controlled by a state. I wonder if why it
>> is that states do monopolize currencies (or try to) and what the dangers
>> would be if states simply stopped doing this. Any thoughts?
>> Coming from a libertarian/Nozickian minarchist angle, it seems that the
>> only legitimate job of the state is protecting the rights and freedoms of
>> the citizens. Usually that is seen as violence monopoly, but it might
>> extend to protection from epidemics too (protection from wild animals too
>> small to see!) However, obviously there are plenty of other functions that
>> are nice to have, it is just that it is not clear the state (the violence
>> monopoly) should be the one running them.
>> Money has not always been a state monopoly - corporate scrip was
>> widespread, and occasionally I come across Scottish banknotes that are
>> indeed marked with the bank that printed them (valid tender even down here
>> in South England). There might be reasons to want to centralize these
>> functions: I don't know enough economics to argue about it. But even if one
>> wants to centralize money it is not clear that the money monopoly has to be
>> the violence monopoly. In fact, to balance power it might be very
>> reasonable to keep them apart!
>> Charles Stross had a character make the point (in Glasshouse) that the
>> legitimate role of the state is violence monopoly, timekeeping and identity
>> management. Timekeeping matters since the sequencing of events is paramount
>> for many functions, including the crypto that may underlie money and
>> identity. Identity is not just important for being able to make contracts
>> (the foundation for much minarchist/anarchocapitalist society) but also for
>> effective law enforcement (if it is not possible to tell who did what, at
>> best crude deterrence and heavy locks are the solution). Some of the
>> cryptocurrencies might also take on interesting identity properties; it
>> would be fun to consider if one could put identity management into not just
>> bitcoin wallets but into proof-of-work.
>> (Or, as I suggested a few months ago, run uploaded minds *on* the money
>> infrastructure)
>> Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of
>> Oxford University
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