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Central Banks vs. The Bitcoin Revolution

Central Banks vs. The Bitcoin Revolution

Feb 14, 2024

Central Banks vs. The Bitcoin Revolution

Central Banking Business Model

In our current monetary system, central banks around the world are pivotal in shaping national economic policies and managing currency systems. A key function of central banking is the issuance of currency. This power allows central banks to control the money supply, which can impact inflation and economic stability. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's governor, for instance, recently bragged about the unique position of central banks in being able to create money that is widely accepted and trusted by the public.

Economic Theories and Fiscal Policies

Keynesian economics is a predominant theory taught in academia, which advocates for government intervention in the economy to mitigate the effects of recessions and booms. It supports government spending as a means to stimulate economic activity during downturns. Critics, however, argue that such theories justify excessive government spending and can lead to unsustainable fiscal policies.

Inflation and its Causes

Inflation is the general increase in prices and the consequent decline in the purchasing power of money. It is often perceived as a natural economic phenomenon; however, it is typically influenced by government spending and central bank policies. High government expenditures can lead to increased money printing to finance debt, which can contribute to inflation.

The Role of Enforcement in Currency Use

Fiat currencies are typically mandated for use within their respective countries, often enforced through legal tender laws and the tax system. Citizens are required to pay taxes in the national currency, and failure to comply can result in legal penalties, emphasizing the compulsory nature of fiat money.

Bitcoin as an Alternative

Bitcoin presents itself as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. It operates on a decentralized network, free from central bank control, and participation is entirely voluntary. Bitcoin transactions are not enforced by any entity, nor is its use mandated by governments. It is an ethical form of money due to its opt-in nature and its potential to reduce reliance on the traditional banking system.

Fiscal Deficits and Debt

The United States, like many other nations, faces fiscal challenges, with significant portions of the budget allocated to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on debt. Tax revenues often fall short of covering these expenditures, leading to budget deficits and increased borrowing. This borrowing results in the issuance of government bonds, which if not purchased by external investors, may lead to the central bank acting as the buyer of last resort, potentially exacerbating inflation.

Market Reactions and Monetary Policy

Monetary policy, whether expansionary or contractionary, influences financial markets and the broader economy. Tight monetary policy can lead to a decrease in asset prices, affecting government revenue from capital gains taxes and potentially necessitating increased borrowing. Conversely, loose monetary policy can inflate asset prices but may also increase inflation.

Bitcoin's Market Performance

Bitcoin's market behavior is often independent of traditional financial markets. It has shown resilience during times of economic uncertainty, operating as a hedge against inflation. Bitcoin's value relative to other asset classes, such as US government bonds, suggests a growing confidence in Bitcoin as a potential store of value and a global reserve asset.

Debates Surrounding Bitcoin's Viability

Contrary to some central bankers' skepticism about Bitcoin's role as a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account, there is evidence of its increasing use for transactions in various countries. Its value has generally appreciated over time when compared to fiat currencies, challenging the traditional monetary system.


The discussion around central banking, economic theories, and the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is complex and multifaceted. Central banks play a crucial role in managing economies, yet their actions often lead to further inflation. Bitcoin emerges as a decentralized alternative that offers a different approach to money and value storage, one that is gradually gaining acceptance and challenging traditional financial systems.


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