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Who will make money? Tokens and the ‘5Cs’ of future currency

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The technologies that have changed the payments industry have, because of their distributed and decentralising nature, the potential to change money itself. The change to smart money — money with a memory, interfaces and the ability to make decisions — has wide-ranging implications, starting with the disruption of the post-1971 world of purely fiat currencies. Given that these technologies mean that literally anyone can create smart money, who will? Is the future Bitcoins or Britcoins? This paper explores the new technology of cryptocurrency ‘tokens’ before going on to explore five potential issuers of token-based smart money: central banks, commercial banks, cryptography, companies and communities. Looking at each of these in some detail, it concludes that the apparently radical scenario of multiple currencies more closely linked to communities is both plausible and, for a number of reasons, desirable.
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Keywords: cryptocurrency; digital money; electronic money; fiat currency; tokens

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2018

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems publishes peer-reviewed articles and case studies analysing best practice, emerging issues and new thinking in how to develop a profitable, customer-focused payments strategy. It examines major issues facing the corporate, wholesale and retail payments industry from a business, risk and operational perspective.

    Edited by renowned payments expert Alec Nacamuli and guided by an eminent Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue provides practical, detailed analysis of developments and trends in the payments business, regulation, new entrants and technologies and how to bring them all together to define your payments strategy, as well as actionable advice and ‘lessons learned’ from fellow professionals on how payment processing systems can be leveraged to maximise profitability, security and efficiency and minimise risk. It contains no advertising and no advertorial.

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