Nobel Prize Economist Says That Crypto the Latest in a Pattern of Alternative Currencies

In a May 21 article entitled “The Old Allure of New Money,” the 2013 Nobel laureate of Economics Robert Shiller calls crypto the newest iteration of alternative currency ideas.

Shiller outlines the various types of alternative currency that have existed throughout history, saying that, “New ideas for money seem to go with the territory of revolution, accompanied by a compelling, easily understood narrative.” Shiller first refers to Josiah Warner’s “labor notes” of the Cincinnati Time Store in 1827, that sold merchandise in units of hours of work.The currency did not last long, as the store closed in 1830.

The Yale economist also mentions Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who proposed that the communist condition under which private property was eliminated, would necessarily result in the “Communistic abolition of buying and selling.”

Getting closer to the modern day, Shiller references the Great Depression movement called “Technocracy,” which proposed to replace the then gold-backed US dollar with a measure of energy. Their book “The ABC of Technocracy” proposed the idea of founding an economy on the basis of energy.

Reaching the contemporary period, Shiller writes that crypto, like its predecessors, is coupled with “a deep yearning for some kind of revolution in society.” […]

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