Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Watching the Watchers: Digital Currency

I don't have the time to give this a proper think, let alone a proper write-up, but it is too interesting a subject to let completely pass by. According to a blog post by Rachael King on the Wall Street Journal's site (caveat: dated April 1) Western Union is investigating digital currencies. This raises the specter of a corporation potentially creating its own currency. Though it would still be subject to governmental regulation, as holders of the increasingly valued Bitcoin virtual currency are learning, I wonder what the long-term implications of non-government controlled currency would be? In the extreme case, will we eventually have to check the exchange rate for our Visa-marks when converting to Amazon-cents to make a purchase? Can a single corporation sustain the collective illusion of "value" that a currency requires to function? What about a group of them? Interesting stuff to wonder about in any case.

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