Although I've devoted many essays here to exploding myths about historical private currencies, there's one I've yet to directly challenge. That's the belief that such currencies only thrive in the absence of official alternatives. Otherwise, the argument goes, people would drop private currencies like so many hot…

cracking dollar

In a thought-provoking article published by the IMF in April, Ruchir Agarwal and Miles Kimball argue for moving away from a “paper money standard” and toward an "electronic money standard." The promised benefits include shorter recessions and lower average inflation. These benefits are said to result from…