Synthetic Commodity Money

  title={Synthetic Commodity Money},
  author={George A. Selgin},
  journal={Monetary Economics eJournal},
  • G. Selgin
  • Published 10 April 2013
  • Economics
  • Monetary Economics eJournal
The conventional dichotomy of “commodity” and “fiat” base monies overlooks a third possibility that shares some features of each. This third type, which I call “synthetic commodity money,” resembles fiat money in having no nonmonetary value; but it resembles commodity money in being not just contingently but absolutely scarce. I discuss some actual examples of synthetic commodity monies, and then argue that special characteristics of synthetic commodity money are such as might allow such a… 
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