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Difference Between Fiat Money and Commodity Money

  • Crypto News
  • 11 min read

money vs commodity

fiat vs commodity keep the cryptographic keys used to transact on the blockchain, but the Bitcoins and transactions exist only within the blockchain. Furthermore, many copies of the blockchain are stored on the Internet in various places. New blocks are created and blockchains are maintained by people called miners, who must solve a cryptographic puzzle that will be used to encrypt the next block. The 1st miner to solve the puzzle earns some Bitcoin for their effort. The solution is used to encrypt the next block, then the other miners use the same key to encrypt the new block and add it to their blockchain.

Money refers to the source or medium of exchange that can be used to fulfill one’s daily needs. Money is an essential part of every person’s life as without money we can afford anything. Therefore, money has been divided majorly into three types accordingly. But here, we will be distinguishing between fiat money and commodity money.

Understanding Fiat Money is a type of money that gets its value from both parties accepting it as a medium of exchange in a transaction. Whether fiduciary money is worth anything is decided by the anticipation that it will be widely recognized as a future means of trade. Other examples of goods that have been used as commodity money include copper, corns, tea, shells, cigarettes, wine, etc. Several forms of commodity money were employed relative to the needs that certain economic circumstances created. What’s the difference between gold and cash as a type of money? Why do we use cash and not other types of money to perform transactions?


The former is referred to as commodity money, and the latter as fiat money. Some advantages of fiat money are like it only uses the paper as the only natural resource for manufacturing the notes, it is stable, its supply is unlimited by the government, etc. On the other hand, some advantages of commodity money are like the raw form of the commodity can be redesigned into commodity money, the government never controls the commodity money, etc. As you can see in this graph, Bitcoin does not hedge inflation.

Types of money and monetary aggregates

Commodity-based currencies were volatile due to the regular business cycle and periodic recessions. The central banks can print or hold paper money as they may need, giving them greater control over the money supply, interest rates, and liquidity. For example, the Federal Reserve’s control over the money supply and demand enabled it to manage the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 from causing greater harm to the U.S. financial system and global economy. Furthermore, using cryptocurrencies extensively in any major economy would eliminate some of the monetary policy tools that central banks use to regulate the economy. For instance, the Covid-19 pandemic would have damaged the economy to a much greater extent, if central banks could not increase the money supply.

The Federal Bank of America prints the dollar as a significant currency. RBI approved the use of Indian rupees for international trade settlement in July 2022. Explain how the Fed can achieve a federal funds rate target of 1.5% if the federal funds rate is currently at 2%.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fiat Currency

For example, gold can become jewelry and also used as wiring in computers. As discussed in our series on the Federal Reserve and how the U.S. banks, money is not “printed” per se; rather, they create the money out of extension of credit and debits recorded on the Central Banks’ balance sheet. The rise of fiat currencies over the last fifty years is also tied to creating more credit in our system, but not historically so, which I find interesting. Its value is derived from its official recognition as a medium of exchange from government legislation. Fiat money is a medium of exchange that is only backed by the government.

UK Proposes Regulatory Regime for Cryptoassets Insights – Sidley Austin LLP

UK Proposes Regulatory Regime for Cryptoassets Insights.

Posted: Tue, 07 Feb 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Which of the following is not one of the ways the Fed can use to try to affect the fiat vs commodity supply? The logical way to reconcile the accounting then is to credit the material value of the token to the State’s balance sheet, even though the bearer has physical possession of the token. The State retains title to its material value as long as the token exists as a liability of the State. Keynes once defined the rupee, the Indian currency, as a “note printed on silver” implying that the holder of the rupee could either use it as money or as silver, but not both.

Credit Resources

Fiat money’s value is created internally by the community and, at equilibrium, makes otherwise infeasible trades possible. Fiat money generally does not have intrinsic value and does not have use value. It has value only because the individuals who use it as a unit of account – or, in the case of currency, a medium of exchange– agree on its value. They trust that it will be accepted by merchants and other people. Conversely, fiat money meaning signifies a currency backed by the full credit of the government. Thus, it triggers immense security through decreased demand for commodities.

What are examples of commodity money?

Examples of commodity money are gold and silver coins. Gold coins were valuable because they could be used in exchange for other goods or services, but also because the gold itself was valued and had other uses. Commodity money gave way to the next stage-representative money.

It is different from the standard ounce and optimal for noting the weight of precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver. But for the immediate future, fiat currency is what we have to play with, and likely into our children’s future as well. China began as the first company to use fiat currency around 1000 AD, and as recently as 1971, when Richard Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard. The number one advantage of commodity money equals the ability to serve more than one purpose.

Examples of fiat money include any currency that only the government backs and is not linked to any real tangible asset. Examples include all the major currencies that are in circulation today such as the US dollar, the Euro, and the Canadian Dollar. The difference between fiat money and representative money is that fiat money’s value depends on its demand and supply. In contrast, the value of representative money depends on the value of the asset that it is backed by. Representative money is a type of money that is issued by the government and backed by commodities such as precious metals like gold or silver.

  • Global RecessionGlobal recession refers to a condition when the countries across the globe experience an economic downturn for an extended period.
  • Other theories of money, such as the credit theory, suggest that since all money is a credit-debt relation, it does not matter if money is backed by anything to maintain value.
  • Gold, for example, has an intrinsic value that almost everyone on the face of the Earth recognizes.
  • This happened in Argentina in the 1980’s and in Russia in the 1990’s.
  • He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Commodity money is a medium of exchange with intrinsic value due to its use for purposes other than money. Another important concept to know is that fiat currency is legal tender. Being a legal tender means that it is recognized by law to be used as a payment method. Everyone in the country where a fiat currency is recognized as a legal tender is legally obliged to accept or use it as payment. Before 1970, the world was governed by the gold standard, which allowed people to swap the currency they owned for gold at any time. Countries that adhered to the gold standard established a fixed price for gold and traded gold at that price, therefore maintaining the gold standard.

Presently, most economists favor a small and steady rate of inflation. However, money supply growth does not always cause nominal increases of price. Money supply growth may instead result in stable prices at a time in which they would otherwise be decreasing.

As a result, money is divided into three categories, two of which we have explored with examples. Everything, including the values, relevance, and applications, differs from one another. Simply put, both sorts of money are necessary depending on one’s needs and employment. IG International Limited is licensed to conduct investment business and digital asset business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The risks of loss from investing in CFDs can be substantial and the value of your investments may fluctuate. 75% of retail client accounts lose money when trading CFDs, with this investment provider.

The fact that fiat money is not connected to tangible assets, such as a national stockpile of gold or silver, means that it is susceptible to depreciation due to inflation. During some of the most severe occurrences of hyperinflation, such as the period after World War II in Hungary, the inflation rate might more than quadruple in a single day. A fiat currency functions well when the public has enough confidence in the currency’s ability to act as a storage medium for purchasing power. Also, it must be backed by the full credit of the government that gives a decree and prints it as a legal tender for financial transactions. With fiat currencies, governments can create more money to inject into the supply to boost economic growth. While too much of this practice leads to over inflation, just the right amount helps the economy grow in the long term.

Since 2012, Bitcoin has dropped in price, sometimes substantially, even as the consumer price index continually increased. Of course, after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the price of Bitcoin increased rapidly, but it may not continue. Since Bitcoin cannot be spent, it must be sold to convert it into fiat currency. Few businesses accept Bitcoin for payment and few people GALA use Bitcoin for payment because it is too volatile. Volatility complicates accounting, which is why most businesses would not want to have most of their transactions in Bitcoin. A good hedge against inflation rises with inflation, such as real estate.

Since everybody needs to pay taxes, or else face stiff penalties or prison, people will accept it in exchange . Other theories of money, such as the credit theory, suggest that since all money is a credit-debt relation, it does not matter if money is backed by anything to maintain value. If not useful as money, what causes demand for Bitcoins or for other cryptocurrencies? People in countries with unstable governments or distrusted governments may also turn to cryptocurrency, since it is better than using a hyperinflated currency issued by a corrupt government. Another source of demand comes from people hearing about the cryptocurrency and who want to try it.