Thursday, February 25, 2021

History of Money (Part I) | From cowries to cryptocurrency — Amol Agrawal

This year has started with another frenzy in cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin prices crossing $50,000. Some countries such as China are close to starting their central bank digital currencies (CBDC). In India, the government is planning to issue a Bill that defines digital cryptocurrencies more clearly and the Reserve Bank of India is studying the scope of a CBDC.

To better understand these developments, a look back at history and the evolution of money is warranted — ideas, they say, go around in circles. What is seen as a novel idea today, usually has a past, and is often just packaged differently.

In the first of a three-part series, we trace how the concept of money evolved down the ages....
In 1835, the Coinage Act was passed which unified coinage across India. In 1861, the British crown decided to unify and monopolise the banknotes as well. The Paper Currency Act was passed which took away issuance of banknote powers from both private and presidency banks. However, unlike their home country, the British neither gave this function to an existing bank nor set up a new entity. They managed the issuance within the government.
Money Control | Opinion
History of Money (Part I) | From cowries to cryptocurrency
Amol Agrawal, Assistant Professor of Economics, Ahmedabad University

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