September 23, 2015

E-money

Comment and correction on ‘As Predicted BOE Head Economist and Time 100 Most Influential Suggests E-Dollar Concept’

Blog-Reference

The concept of E-money has been developed in 1986. See the article ‘Geld ist Information: volkswirtschaftliche Aspeke der Bankautomation’, that is, ‘Money is Information: economic aspects of bank automation’. Reference here.

Note:
(i) The persons mentioned in the title are 29 years late.
(ii) I am the copyright holder for the concept of E-money.
(iii) Check reference and correct the post.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

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Comment and more information

I agree with you that the concept of E-money has developed rapidly in the last years and that it has acquired lately a very specific meaning as ‘exchange rate between paper currency and currency held in the bank’.

My article was about the general case of a full replacement of bank money, notes and coins by E-money, with E-money managed by a central bank. By consequence, the question of an exchange rate between the moneys did not arise to begin with. The case of a private issuance of E-money was not considered at all, here Bitcoin deserves the credits. In brief, my original concept was that E-money is the logical next step in the evolution of money from tokens like shells, over Babylonian tablets, over gold and silver coins, over IOUs, over banknotes, to deposits/overdrafts. Thus, economically, E-money is the pure and ultimate form of money while all other forms are more or less awkward historical forerunners.

Now, the concrete form of money is one thing, its role as means of payment and store of value in a monetary economy is quite another thing. So E-money is de facto only a small part of a comprehensive theory of money, which in turn is a small part of the true economic theory which is supposed to explain how the economy we happen to live in works. For all practical purposes, in contrast, the concrete institutional implementation of E-money is indeed of primary importance.

The general economic theory has been worked out in a series of papers which are available at the open access repository SSRN. What is of heightened interest in economics are, of course, the structural defects of the market system as a whole and of the monetary order in particular. If you are interested in more details about this wonkish stuff see for a start ‘Major Defects of the Market Economy

As far as the current special topic of E-money as piece of a large jigsaw puzzle is concerned your post is accurate.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke



Relates to the working paper 'Reconstructing the Quantity Theory (I)'