Should The USA Make Biden-coin

On the surface, the question, “should the US have a government-backed digital currency” seems to be asking about whether or not we should be inventive. Perhaps the better questions are:

  • Is this a good idea right now?
  • Is this an instance where speed matters?

The Federal is considering it: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/20/the-fed-this-summer-will-take-another-step-ahead-in-developing-a-digital-currency.html

What do you think, should the US have a neat cryptocurrency? GI-bucks, eagle-dollars, maybe Yezzy-coin, maybe Biden-bux? Is this like asking:

  • Should Jeff Bezos (or that other guy, what is his name) make a rocket ship, or
  • Should I invent the hotdog vending machine?

I don’t know, but they both sound cool.

This isn’t really a question about whether ‘Merica should create a red, white and blue Cryptocurrency. It also a question about invention for invention’s sake. This is a question about monetary policy and a nation’s ability to control its destiny. A nation should be able to control monetary policy for lots of important reasons.

I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so what I have to say matters a lot.

If the problem was just about moving currency electronically, Western Union fixed that in 1871. *for reference, Karl Benz made the first internal combustion automobile in 1886 (eat that cars, money won by 15 years). The issue pushing this is one of adoption. If everyone around the US adopts cryptocurrency and moves on from national fiat money, it will be difficult for the federal government to have a monetary policy.

So, before the complete adoption of cryptocurrency, as the currency used in legal tender folks would argue, the USA needs to get into the adoption curve. However, to really take on creating a national cryptocurrency, we (all people in this space generally) need more and longer-term experience with digital currency generally before hard money/fiat policy pivots. Though I am an ardent cryptocurrency advocate, I am a slow adoption supporter in the national policy / central bank and currency space. I do not see the USA in a world where the nation-state that is first to invent an independent, newly invented immutable distributed ledger-based cryptocurrency wins. This isn’t a race to the moon where the first one to plant a flag and do a weird jump thing wins. Rather I see the USA in a world where the pioneers and innovators in this race are identified as those facedown in the mud, with arrows in their back.

So, we should wait and watch and take measured steps.

Digital dollars will be important, but thankfully Western Union paved the way for electronic exchange 150 years ago, so we have some time to figure this all out.

Roads before cars:

The US, to some degree, can control the exchanges that can be accessed and used by its citizens today. I say let’s get better at that. Having a regulatory framework and well-informed policy positions are grossly more important than is making that cool digital dollar. Having regulatory rails for digital currency to follow and ‘rules of the road’ through policy will help traffic flow more freely, more quickly, and more trustworthily.

Trains not Semi Trucks:

The US doesn’t have to create a digital dollar first. It can begin by moving liquidity-stores with existing digital currency. It’s like shifting from IPV4 to IPV6 for my geeks. Banks and governments without power over our money sound cool, like Chuck Taylor’s and an anarchy symbol scribbled on a jean jacket (those are cool things, right). But if stopping hyperinflation, reeling in spiraling markets, and separating national economies from other national economies, is nerdy then I don’t want to be cool. I say, nerds unite. Let’s stay centralized *haha snort*. That is why we build trains BEFORE semi-trucks, let’s move the big payloads between institutions, garner benefits of offense from that, then get good at transactional speed and agility.

Buy a ticket to the circus before you buy lions:

Gather your lessons learned from others making fiat digital currency. China is doing it. Sweden is deep in the game.

What can we learn in those places before we jump feet first?

By allowing, regulating, taxing, enabling, and studying the use of Cryptocurrencies in the US for transactions for goods and services below dollar thresholds, we can learn more about creating one of our own. I say, bump the breaks America, and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

What do you think, am I crazy, should we just make Biden-bux?

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