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Historically, the value of a nation’s currency was pegged against a commodity with well-established value, such as gold or silver. This was the case for the majority of currencies up until 1971, when Richard Nixon decoupled the US dollar from gold. Supply and demand determines the value of fiat currency. Governments can control how much is in circulation and control the value of money as well as inflation. One of the biggest downfalls of cryptocurrency according to its critics, is the inability of more tokens to enter circulation when demand is high. The total amount of Bitcoin, is limited by a digital production process analogous to precious metal mining, which can stop its value from being eroded by systematic over-production and debasement as has been the case with numerous fiat currencies historically.18 This inability to react to demand causes sharp volatility in the value of cryptocurrency, making them unreliable stores of value. This has been most evident with the steep spikes in Bitcoin value since the beginning of the year. Conversely, as fiat currencies are not linked to physical reserves, they risk becoming worthless due to hyperinflation. If people lose faith in a nation’s paper currency, the money will no longer hold value.Fiat money serves as a good currency if it can handle the roles that an economy needs of its monetary unit: storing value, providing a numerical account and facilitating exchange. Because fiat money is not a scarce or fixed resource like gold, central banks have much greater control over its supply, which gives them the power to manage economic variables such as credit supply, liquidity, interest rates and money velocity.


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