Free Banking is now Alt-M

The Free Banking blog was a venue for leading free banking advocates to share their insights with the world. This illustrious cast includes academics, public policy experts, government officials, and rabble rousers. Guest bloggers will feature financial gurus, entrepreneurs, historians, celebrities, and many other different perspectives.

Alt-M is a blog devoted to exploring and promoting ideas for an alternative monetary future. Our goal is to reveal the shortcomings of today’s centralized, bureaucratic, and discretionary monetary arrangements, and to bring serious consideration of real alternatives to the center stage of current monetary and financial reform debates.

Alt-M.org is a joint project of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives and the Liberty and Privacy Network’s Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights.

Free Banking is now Alt-M

Those who follow cryptocurrencies will know that an initial coin offering (ICO) refers to the issuance of digital tokens to finance a blockchain-based venture. They will also know that the legal status of tokens is an ongoing discussion among market participants and regulators. ICOs have attracted policymakers’…

The post The Legal Status of ICOs: New Insights from Economic Theory appeared first on Alt-M.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has made its decision. On June 18 of this year John Williams, currently serving as the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will succeed William Dudley as New York Fed President. This decision will have many ramifications…

The post From Silicon Valley to the Big Apple: John Williams Named Next NY Fed President appeared first on Alt-M.

In 2014 the government of Ecuador, under then-President Rafael Correa, announced with great fanfare that the Ecuadorian Central Bank (BCE) would soon begin issuing an electronic money (dinero electrónico, or DE). Users would keep account balances on the central bank’s own balance sheet and transfer them using…

The post The World’s First Central Bank Electronic Money Has Come – And Gone: Ecuador, 2014-2018 appeared first on Alt-M.

If you’ve spent much time at all on these pages, you know that my favorite hobby-horse for several years now has been the Federal Reserve’s policy of paying interest on (banks’) excess reserves (IOER) at an above-market rate. By adopting that policy in October 2008, the Fed…

The post FLOORED! appeared first on Alt-M.

Historian Harold James of Princeton University, known for his scholarly writings on the gold exchange standard and on the euro, has turned his attention to Bitcoin in a recent Project Syndicate commentary on “The Bitcoin Threat.” His commentary labors under a surprising number of misconceptions about Bitcoin…

The post Bitcoin: More Trustworthy than Some Academic Critics appeared first on Alt-M.

(Originally appeared December 7, 2014 on freebanking.org, Alt-M’s predecessor blog) (*And we always have been.) *** Yesterday, while giving Cato’s interns an impromptu talk about my work, I found myself saying something that seems worth putting in writing. This was that the difference between me and Larry…

The post <span class=”friday”>Friday</span> <span class=”flashback”>Flashback:</span> We Are All Free Banking Theorists Now* appeared first on Alt-M.

The leading arguments for banning large-denomination currency notes are those made in a much-cited working paper by Peter Sands and at book length by Kenneth Rogoff. They have been rebutted persuasively by Pierre Lemieux and Jeffrey Hummel in their respective reviews of Rogoff’s book. I have previously…

The post More Evidence of the High Collateral Damage of a War on Cash appeared first on Alt-M.

Many commentators have compared Bitcoin to gold as an investment asset. “Can Bitcoin Be Gold 2.0?,” asks a portfolio analyst. “Bitcoin is increasingly set to replace gold as a hedge against uncertainty,” suggests a Cointelegraph reporter. Economists, by contrast, are more interested in considering how a monetary…

The post How a Bitcoin System is Like and Unlike a Gold Standard appeared first on Alt-M.

(Originally appeared  December 21, 2014) As is usual this time of year, my mom and brother, and a close friend or two, asked me to share with them some of the items I’d included in the list they assumed I’d already mailed to the North Pole, as…

The post <span class=”friday”>Friday</span> <span class=”flashback”>Flashback:</span> A Free Banker’s Christmas Wish List appeared first on Alt-M.