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Designing a new currency is impractical

Designing a new currency is impractical

Rising interest rates threaten to destabilise both financial asset values and the fiat currencies in which they are priced. This outcome is feared by the chattering classes who increasingly speculate about currency resets.

So far, we have seen cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, plans for the introduction of central bank digital currencies, plans to de-dollarise Asian trade, and even El Salvador adopting bitcoin as legal tender. But are these resets valid?

Except for a new currency mooted for cross-border trading purposes between Russia, its former Central Asian satellites and China only at the conceptual stage, all these plans fail in one important respect: as things stand, legally none of them can have the status of a currency. Money, that is physical gold and silver, banknotes and bank credit are exempt from property law with respect to stolen goods which otherwise can be seized from innocent parties who have subsequently acquired them.

Without this exemption embodied in lex mercatoria a currency replacement is useless. The only replacement for fiat is a currency credibly backed by gold. And that is the legal position!

The introduction of new currencies is a topic moving increasingly into public debate driven by both the inflation dilemma faced by central banks and, recently, by the consequences of fiat currency sanctions against Russia. There is a convergence of events at play. While there are the immediate problems of rising interest rates and of the financial and commodity price war being waged between the West and Russia, there are plans for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to give the monetary authorities greater control over the use of new currencies that could replace existing fiat.
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