World monies or money-worlds: A new perspective on cryptocurrencies and their moneyness

Finance and Society, Forthcoming

This essay makes the case that current debates about the ‘moneyness’ of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are occurring at the incorrect scale. Rather than being some form of transnational digital money to be used alongside or compete with national fiat currencies, I argue that, instead, each cryptocurrency represents its own self-contained ‘money-world’. Put differently, a cryptocurrency is the uniquely specified unit of account and medium of exchange within the socio-technical bounds of its own blockchain. This new perspective can open new lines of intellectual dialogue and inform better policy choices for regulating cryptocurrencies.

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