There’s an agenda there, and it’s a bad one. Go to the home page charlie stross bitcoin see the latest top stories.

There’s an agenda there, and it’s a bad one. It’s always important, and always hard, to distinguish positive economics — how things work — from normative economics — how things should be. I don’t, by the way, think that this effect is symmetric: although people like Robert Lucas were quick to accuse people like Christy Romer of fabricating macro arguments to support a big-government agenda, this didn’t actually happen. But I come now to talk not about macro but about money — specifically, about Bitcoin and all that. So far almost all of the Bitcoin discussion has been positive economics — can this actually work? And I have to say that I’m still deeply unconvinced. To be successful, money must be both a medium of exchange and a reasonably stable store of value.

Underpinning the value of gold is that if all else fails you can use it to make pretty things. Placing a ceiling on the value of gold is mining technology, and the prospect that if its price gets out of whack for long on the upside a great deal more of it will be created. Placing a ceiling on the value of the dollar is the Federal Reserve’s role as actual dollar source, and its commitment not to allow deflation to happen. 21 million bitcoins is reached. And I haven’t been able to get my correspondents to recognize that these are different questions.