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

Adam Hayes
Finance and Society, 2021, 7(2): 130-39


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 trans-national 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.