Currency competition in Switzerland
Michael D. Bordo ()
Aussenwirtschaft, 2017, vol. 68, issue 01, 101-108
The recent interest by many central banks in digital currency and the role of the central bank in possibly providing them and regulating them as well as the concern over privately issued crypto currencies like bitcoin, has resonance to the monetary history of many advanced countries in the early nineteenth century when multiple competing banks issued notes based on specie coins of varying quality. The currency history of Switzerland in the nineteenth century illustrates the evolution from competing banks of issue to the creation of the Swiss National bank in 1907 with a monopoly of the currency. The public good benefits of as central bank issued currency convinced the early classical economists on the basic role of central banks. Today the upsurge of privately produced crypto currencies with variable nominal and real values makes a case for the creation by central banks of their own digital currencies.
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