Cybercash: The Coming Era of Electronic Money by Robert Guttmann

By Robert Guttmann

Cybercash refers back to the production and flow of on-line funds. Guttman applies monetary research to this digital funds to appreciate the way it will permit the net to re-establish itself because the dynamic middle of the recent economic climate and the way this new funds shape becomes the dominant cost mechanism rivaling money, paper tests or charge cards. it will be the 1st booklet to examine the arrival period of digital funds in the broader context of the financial system.

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Gold proved ultimately too inelastic a commodity to support expanding volumes of production and trade. Scarce supplies of gold constituted a ‘metallic barrier’ to growth. Attempts to use paper-money substitutes invited recurrent banking crises when their convertibility with gold came to be doubted by the public. In those crises the gold standard left little discretion for governments to intervene, since it obliged them to keep their budget balanced and restricted their ability to inject new funds.

Large-volume transfers between businesses were automated through a network of bank-operated automated clearing-houses and electronic fundtransfer technology. The banks also tried to push the electronic revolution into retail banking by getting households accustomed to using automated teller machines, paying with plastic (debit or credit) cards and conducting their banking transactions at home on the computer. The accelerating efforts by banks to develop electronic alternatives to paper money are not just motivated by the desire to take advantage of technological progress.

Here we see paper money show its burdensome side. While it provides us with a built-in safety net against the kind of depression we last experienced in the 1930s, any paper-money standard carries an inflationary bias. The Monetary Regime in Transition And such inflation can become deeply embedded in the daily operations of a modern economy. This may be because an economy built on forwardmoney contracts can easily institutionalize the expectation of rising inflation (for instance cost-of-living adjustments in collective-bargaining agreements).

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