Money Supply & Inflation

Money Supply & Inflation

We can measure the supply of money that exists in the market with main metrics:

  • M1 money supply includes liquid money aka cash. 
  • M2 (which includes M1) includes loans, deposits & market funds. This is mainly made up money. 

As the chart shows the US (and all other countries with central banks) have most of the monetary mass made up. An influx of money causes inflation and this is exactly what during the last decades. 

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jay powell, Chief of FEDERAL RESERVE

We print money digitally. As a central bank, we have the ability to create money. And we do that by buying bonds for other government guaranteed securities. And that actually increases the money supply. We also print actual currency and we distribute that through the Federal Reserve banks.

Fiat money

Fiat money is a government-issued currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold. Most paper notes started as being backed by a reserve of valuable commodities, usually gold (the "Gold Standard"). Tying a currency to gold limits inflation and money supply.

But politicians hate the gold standard, so since Nixon's presidency, the US dollar was no longer tied to gold and money had value just because the government says so.

Fractional Reserve & Money Supply

Banks loan money they don't have. Most hold a limited reserve to serve the few who decide to make redraws. When the majority decides to liquidate their bank accounts we have what is called a bank run.

In order to protect the banks, central banks were created to provide a guaranteed reserve for commercial banks. But once the government stepped in to protect the banks the fractional reserve mandates(only a fraction of deposits are backed by actual cash) began to be used to make up the money from thin air. Every dollar that a bank holds can be multiplied by at least 10x.  

A history of the US fiat currency

1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt had gold confiscated and people were forced to accept paper money for their gold. The government needed people to adopt the inflated paper and they used force. 

1940s - Bretton Woods Agreement created a collective international currency peg to the U.S. dollar which was in turn pegged to the price of gold.

1971 - President Nixon unilaterally cancelled the direct international convertibility of the US dollars to gold. Making the US government in charge of money supply and world money master. 

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What is money?

Money is a WIDELY ACCEPTED medium of EXCHANGE. Lets analyse each word, they really have a huge importance:

  • Widely: it has to be accepted by many people, otherwise it can’t work.
  • Accepted: It has to be accepted by all these people, which means we need to have some sort of agreement that we will all accept it.
  • Exchange: Now that everyone accepts it, we also agree that it has some sort of value and we can exchange it for certain things.

History of Money - Timeline of Monetary Evolution

Money & Personal Sovereignty

Sovereignty is directly linked to power. A king or a state are sovereign through the power they can exert on your body. But we tend to think that our minds are free from any intervention and that we can maintain our sovereignty.

Money matters, in this situation, because they represent our thoughts turning into action. They are also a form of speech because the value of money reflects our daily interactions. When a ruler maintains power over money (like modern states) they deny our rights to free thinking & to free speech.

Robert Breedlove: Philosophy of Bitcoin from First Principles | Lex Fridman Podcast #176

Ethereum promise

Ethereum's initial success can be attributed to a few elements. Ethereum is programable, meaning apps can run on the Ethereum blockchain. This is what let to Ethereum being used in:

  • Decentralised Finance, or DeFi, meaning that apps like investments, insurance etc can be run without a central authority.
  • NFTs, tokens to prove the authenticity and ownership of an object (digital or physical)
  • The consensus in the network through proof of stake. New coins are created by putting guaranteeing your existing money. This incentives people to be good actors and decreases the money supply, increasing its price.


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