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Folks have a very narrow view of the term “currency”. Things have value because enough people decide they do. Depending on the thing, this may be as few as one person, but that’s more than zero who will accept that as currency

Not everything needs to have an assigned value on state-controlled terms, but almost anything, tangible or not, can be currency to someone

· · Tootle for Mastodon · 2 · 7 · 13

@cypnk
I recall hearing of a fief that for a short time used dead rats as currency.

Some parts of colonial America used tobacco certificates as money (a commodity backed paper currency, privately issued).

If it's not practical as a medium of exchange, though, it's not currency. My left arm is not currency.

@john @cypnk Practicality is one thing. I think the other thing to making a currency useful in exchange, especially in economies that are extensive enough to want significant investment mechanisms, is having mechanisms to ensure that currency supply (and thus stability) is in some way controlled. You can have currencies without that, but their instability will make them hard to use.

@JubalBarca @cypnk
"ensure that currency supply"
You're afraid that people will lose their money in couch cushions too fast?

@john @cypnk The problem is usually the reverse - that if money has a token value, which is necessary in a monetised economy that involves non-physical goods, you need to avoid people just printing lots of their own money (or equivalently producing lots of the currency token), and thereby forcing the value of everyone else's currency down compared to their own.

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