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Issue #550: A thread on money in Iran

Aug 16, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #550: A thread on money in Iran

I think it's safe to say that if you freaks are reading this rag, you are at least somewhat interested in the concept of money. After all, Bitcoin is a nascent digital money that our monkey brains are attempting to understand and this newsletter serves as a conduit to learn more about this particular form of money. The concept of money is something that I have become extremely obsessed with over the course of the last decade. Not acquiring great sums of it (which has certainly been a goal of mine as well), but understanding the nature of what it is. All of this spurred by the calamity that occurred while I was a senior in high school in the Fall of 2008.

I have come to find that the best way to understand money is to attempt to understand its history. Luckily for us, our friend arbedout is an extremely well-read individual who has done a lot of great work to bring the world's monetary history to the fore on Twitter dot com. I have learned an immense amount from his threads on subjects ranging from barter in Iran to parallels between the railroad boom and bust of the 1800s and the ICO boom and bust of 2017-2018.

Earlier this week we were gifted with an incredibly insightful thread highlighting a particular period of history in Iran and how money was used throughout the region at the time. What we come to find is that there were many different forms of money and even barter that persisted due to the physical limitations of metal coins. From what I can glean, it seems as though the metal coins served as a metric system for the goods and services that were being traded. At certain social layers, individual parties would use monetary media in certain ways depending on the context. Barter was a sufficient means of transacting at the local level when Iranian citizens were shopping at markets. As commerce moved up the social stack from local trade to payments made to the State and international trade, universally accepted metal coins served as the main medium of exchange and unit of account. Ensuring the hardest monies were used for what I imagine were deemed the most important activities of the time. Which included individual citizens' savings.

A lesson for all the "barter never truly existed" stans out there. But also an incredibly useful example of how complicated money can be from monetary history that helps highlight the extreme utility that the Bitcoin Network provides. Instead of having to resort to different forms of monetary media depending on what part of the social layer one finds themself transacting on, Bitcoin has the potential to provide an all in one solution for each situation.

Uncle Marty envisions a future in which the Bitcoin Network and the economy that is growing on top of it have matured to a point where countries and large traders settle between each other at the base layer while individuals go about their business transacting at bodegas leveraging layers built on-top of the base protocol that enable cheap and instant payments. Both layers of the stack using Bitcoin as a metric system of value that enables easier trade with far less friction compared to the system of currency barter that we are currently subjected to today.

Grow your know. Peep the thread and follow arbedout if you aren't already doing so.

Final thought...

Wrote this on a plane after getting armrest alpha'd by a large sleeping man who snores louder than my grandfather did in his heyday. Don't say I don't work hard for this rag.

Enjoy your weekend, freaks.


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