College Papers

In open to abuse by Financial institutions. However,

In ancient history, it is clearly evident that currency has taken forms
in two categories, specifically money of account and money of exchange. Money
of account describes credits and debits on a ledger whilst money of exchange
describes tangible mediums that represent some sort of value to a trader 1.

The objects used as a medium of exchange can vary from rocks to more attractive
goods such as beads. Furthering medium of exchanges in the 17th
Century, the introduction of fiat currency (coins at the time issued and
declared valuable) enabled government institutions to issue fiat currency via central
banks which still remains as a practice today 2. It should be noted that fiat
currency is not backed by a valuable commodity such as gold and rather declared
valuable by their government. For example, Richard Nixon in 1971 decoupled the
US dollar to gold.

Today’s fiat currencies allows to act as a unit of account that is able to
price goods and services effectively whilst also providing the part of storing
value for future purchases 3. However, in the last 5 centuries, we have seen
non legal alternative currencies that act as a replacement or complement
national fiat currencies, to inhibit economic growth in local areas and
sustainable lifestyle of their communities 4. For example, the Bristol pound
introduced in 2012, allowed traders to spend their money locally with
independent businesses to improve the local economy of Bristol. Bristol pound,
being not of legal tender, is not tightly regulated by the British government or
banks but still recognised by Bank of England 5. As of more recent, we have
seen the prominent rise of virtual alternative currencies that mostly have no
legal tender status and therefore not regulated by a government entity. These
are controlled by developers themselves and adopted mainly within certain
virtual communities 6.

One of the main critiques of fiat currency is that they are regulated
via a centralized authority such as the Bank of England and open to abuse by
Financial institutions. However, due to the mismanagement of money in the 2008
Financial Crisis, there is a chronic distrust of Governmental entities within
communities, evidently seen in Corina et al. paper  “Design for Trust: An Exploration of the
Challenges and Opportunities of Bitcoin Users” 7 where participants mentioned
the significant importance in protecting their savings during an unstable
economic climate, predominantly influenced by inflation and governmental
decisions to have authority of control of people’s private and personal bank
account’s balance and its movement.