The Enigma of Money – Gold, Central Banknotes, and Bitcoin : [PDF Download]

PDF Title:The Enigma of Money
Author:Makoto Nishibe
Total Page:103 Pages
PDF Size:1.29 MB
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“According to the Bank of Japan Act, “the banknotes issued by the Bank of Japan shall be legal tender and hence shall be used for payment without limit.” The banknotes are “legal tender” guaranteed by the laws of Japan. It is as great a thing as the emperor backed by state power.

If you refuse to accept a ten thousand bill in Japan claiming it is not money but a piece of paper, you could be punished for breaking the law. So, do people accept the bill because it is backed by legal power? Probably this is too narrow an explanation.

It is wrong to assume that you can force people to do something by law and the threat of punishment. Generally speaking, law can prevent crime and illegal activities by forbidding them, but it cannot force people to do something in particular.

The law can punish someone who goes against it, but it cannot provide a positive incentive when someone conforms to it. Therefore, there must be benefits for individuals who accept the ten thousand bill apart from state power and the law.

The minister and the crowd thought, but did not say “the emperor has no clothes,” not because they were afraid of the emperor’s power, but because they thought it better for themselves.

Likewise, as long as banknotes circulate in reality, there must be benefits to accepting banknotes which have no value in themselves and cannot be exchanged with anything else.”

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