Surprising things about money

It hasn’t stopped evolving

Money has taken many shapes and forms since the dawn of man. From barter to USDC, significant progress has been made. Technological innovation paves the way for human collaboration and money as a tool for effective communication is no stranger to change.

With more currency circulating than ever (roughly $420 trillion worldwide), we have seen its physical traits strain society. Therefore, the importance of digitalizing the dollar remains clear.

It cost $0.02 to make a penny

In 2021, it cost 100% more to produce a penny than a penny is worth mainly due to the material (zinc and copper) rising in price. This is justified as the cost of doing business for the US Mint. But clearly, it doesn’t make sense as a business prospectus. Thankfully, the US Mint is able to make a profit on quarters and dimes. I’m not sure how long that will last for, but time will tell.

Coins were useful but seem more irrelevant as days pass. Sure, there are a handful of places that utilize them like a car wash or laundromat, but those are becoming cashless as we speak.

The Fed has infinite cash

In their own words (1), the federal reserve, otherwise known as the central bank, “has an infinite amount of cash”. It’s helpful to say this when markets are demanding to go up, but the truth of this statement has far reaching consequences. Let’s get this straight. Money ≠ cash. The Fed is posturing like cash is money. They can only play this confidence game for so long.

How are people supposed to react when the solution to the economy is print? We know how this goes. We’ve seen it time and time again. The issue is that US debt owned by foreign and domestic investors is at all time highs.

When you’re using debt, you pay interest. Therefore, the US makes quarterly payments to meet its obligations. With net interest payments making up roughly 10% of federal outlays (2) at approx $600B per year and the debt ceiling reached time and time again, the federal reserve now remains between a rock and hard place.

The question is to print or not. If print, dollars continue the downward trend, but at least it injects liquidity to the market to raise asset prices. On the other hand, the Fed can pump the brakes (like they did this year) resulting in a sluggish market and a rising cost of credit which makes it harder for the US to meet its obligations. A final option is do nothing.

The solution to these problems is deeply complex and if we look at history, we know how our elected and unelected leaders typically respond (more printing). At some point, the Fed should revive markets and leave sellers of growth assets sidelined.

Bacteria loves fiat

In a study by University of Ballarat (3), researchers found the cleanest bill out of 1,200 hosted 20 bugs with the dirtiest of the bunch hosting roughly 25,000. It’s clear digital dollars far exceed fiat capabilities. Have you ever smelled a dollar? It’s not pleasant. Anyway, the world recognizes this already and has begun phasing out paper currency. Some countries are ahead of others.

Conclusion

As 2.9B people without internet come online, they’ll be met with a world differing greatly from previous iterations. Societal progression is truly inevitable and not stopping for anyone. At Dynamic, we’re contributing to this better future and remain steadfast in our values.

Sources:
1. Neel Kashkari from the Fed: youtu.be/Nt6ILTNaqQ8
2. US debt obligations: pewrsr.ch/3P1qhdL
3. Dirty money: bit.ly/3bBQuSA

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Originally published at dynamic.fi on August 6th, 2022

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