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[liberationtech] Bitcoin and The Public Function of Money

elham gheytanchi elhamucla at
Tue Oct 30 11:59:54 PDT 2012

I remember reading a fine book in grad school titled "social meaning of Money" that served like a reference book on these issues from a sociological point of view. 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Woodcock <woody at>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:42:51 
To: <liberationtech at>
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Bitcoin and The Public Function of Money

On Oct 30, 2012, at 2:10 PM, Dmytri Kleiner <dk at> wrote:
> The critical feature required of public money is that we can socially determine how much of it there is, and how much of we want to apply to public purpose. We need ways to create and destroy public money so that we can can have a counter-balance to private activity, to manage cycles, to counter-balance economic sectors, and to socially pursue public objectives.
> -- 
> Dmytri Kleiner
> Venture Communist

Something I've noted about both Bitcoin and bullion-backed currencies, that might hold true of some other currencies as well, is that they're the product of the consumption of labor.  With bitcoin, you can waste CPU cycles on a task with no intrinsic value, and the result is bitcoin.  With bullion-backed currencies, you can send miners into one hole in the ground to consume calories, and construction workers into another hole in the ground to consume calories and construction materials, and move metal from one hole to the other, and the result is money.

Potlatch economies have always resonated a little more sympathetically for me.

                                -Bill "Vladimir Ilyich Perkins" Woodcok

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