Commodity-backed money Definition and Meaning

public and private

In commodity money, the coin retains its value if it is melted and physically altered, while in a fiat money it does not. Usually, in a fiat money the value drops if the coin is converted to metal, but in a few cases the value of metals in fiat moneys have been allowed to rise to values larger than the face value of the coin. In India, for example fiat Rupees disappeared from the market after 2007 when their content of stainless steel became larger than the fiat or face value of the coins. In the US, the metal in pennies (97.5% zinc since 1982, 95% copper in 1982 and before) and nickels (75% copper, 25% nickel) has a value close to, and sometimes exceeding, the fiat face value of the coin.

Which of these is the best example of commodity money?

Answer and Explanation: a. Gold coins are the best example of commodity money. Commodity money is an asset that is backed by a specific commodity.

The Federal Reserve uses XRP monetary aggregates to measure the money supply in the economy. Helene55 yesterday Coupons and tokens at businesses are also commodity money. For example, giving someone a gift card for a store you don’t like, but they do, can be a way of providing them with commodity money.

Representative Money

The Fed uses monetary aggregates to measure the money supply in the economy. Monetary aggregates measure the amount of money that circulates in the economy. Before 1970, the world was governed by the gold standard, which allowed people to swap the currency they owned for gold at any time. Countries that adhered to the gold standard established a fixed price for gold and traded gold at that price, therefore maintaining the gold standard.

What are the top 5 commodities?

  • Crude oil.
  • Coffee.
  • Natural gas.
  • Gold.
  • Wheat.
  • Cotton.
  • Corn.
  • Sugar.

If the economy stalls, the value of the U.S. dollar will drop both domestically through inflation and internationally through currency exchange rates. The implosion of the U.S. economy would plunge the world into a financial dark age, so many other countries and entities are working tirelessly to ensure that never happens. What makes something money is really found in its acceptability, not in whether or not it has intrinsic value or whether or not a government has declared it as such. For example, fiat money tends to be accepted so long as too much of it is not printed too quickly. When that happens, as it did in Russia in the 1990s, people tend to look for other items to serve as money. In the case of Russia, the U.S. dollar became a popular form of money, even though the Russian government still declared the ruble to be its fiat money.

History of commodity money

Fiat money is issued and maintained by the government, whereas commodity money acquires its value from the material it is made of or its usefulness to the holder. Commodity money requires no recognition or approval from the government. The value of commodities used in commodity money remains constant. We can say that commodity money has an in-built supply limitation. “We don’t have a currency of our own,” proclaimed Nerchivan Barzani, the Kurdish regional government’s prime minister in a news interview in 2003. But, even without official recognition by the government, the so-called “Swiss” dinar certainly seemed to function as a fiat money.

Commodities such as meat would not be effective as they go bad over time. Similarly, metals such as iron would not suffice as it rusts easily. If the commodity cannot retain its intrinsic value, then the trust in it won’t last. We have already seen what commodity money is and why people trust it, but let’s dive in and see what characteristics it has.

These items are examples ofcommodity money, which means they also have a value from use as something other than money. Gold, for example, has been used throughout the ages as jewelry or art, as well as money. Gold is a good conductor of electricity and is used today in the electronics and aerospace industry. Gold is also used in the manufacturing of energy efficient reflective glass for skyscrapers and is used in the medical industry as well. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are continually striving to solve some of the problems with cryptocurrency.

Everyone in the example of commodity money where a fiat currency is recognized as a legal tender is legally obliged to accept or use it as payment. These additional assets are known as near-money and are not as liquid as those covered by the M1. Historically, other forms of money were used that did have an underlying value, such as foods, fuels, or metals. Such commodities are not widely used in modern economies as their underlying value can vary immensely from their agreed currency value. There is also the problem that many of these items are prone to spoiling or deteriorating. We can define Commodity money as a physical good that consumers universally use to trade for other goods.

For example, gold is a valuable commodity, but the price of gold can decrease or increase with time. Thus, the risk of volatility always exists with commodity money. Other functions of money are to serve as a unit of account and as a store of value. It includes M1 and other deposits such as small savings accounts (less than $100,000), as well as accounts such as money market mutual funds that place limits on the number or the amounts of the checks that can be written in a certain period. In Romania under Communist Party rule in the 1980s, for example, Kent cigarettes served as a medium of exchange; the fact that they could be exchanged for other goods and services made them money.

The most direct st is to simply buy up a large percentage of the available commodity offered for sale in some spot market and hoard it. In finance, to corner the market is to get sufficient control of a particular stock, commodity, or other asset to allow the price to be manipulated. Gresham’s law applies the principle that bad money drives out good money and relates to currency markets. Today, the value of money is decided purely by its purchasing power, as dictated by inflation. The lack of transferability of bartering for goods is tiring, confusing, and inefficient. But that is not where the problems end; even if the person finds someone with whom to trade meat for bananas, they may not consider a bunch of bananas to be worth a whole cow.

It is objects that have value in themselves as well as for use as money. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. The amount of active money fluctuates seasonally, monthly, weekly, and daily. In the United States, Federal Reserve Banks distribute new currency for the U.S.

  • Bitcoins solve this problem by using a blockchain to create and store the Bitcoins and to record transactions.
  • The difference between fiat money and representative money is that fiat money gets its value from demand and supply.
  • Moving forward to our earliest civilizations, which were built on agriculture and animal husbandry, we find that cattle was used as money.
  • While a barter system might work adequately in small economies, it will limit these economies’ growth.

Several forms of commodity money were employed relative to the needs that certain economic circumstances created. Money is a type of asset in an economy that is used to buy goods and services from other people. A commodity is a physical item that is readily interchangeable with another item of the same type. Intrinsic value means that the commodity has value even if it is not used as money. In times of economic turmoil, such as severe economic depressions or hyperinflation, people sometimes turn to commodity money instead of the money authorized by their governments.

For example, it has to be in wide demand, durable, portable, and easy to store. In the past, any commodity that did not comply with these standards was not accepted as commodity money. As noted earlier, gold is a very good commodity money in most respects and, like clamshells, its quantity is self-equilibrating. When gold became more abundant and output remained constant, the price level increased because there was more money chasing the same amount of goods and services.

commodity money

Another disadvantage of cryptocurrencies is that the government does not benefit from seigniorage, the profit from the creation of money, which can be substantial. For instance, in 2021, the United States supply of M2 money was about $20 trillion. If the US increases its money supply by 3% annually, that is an extra $600 billion annually that would otherwise have to be collected from taxes. Many governments no longer think commodity money is in the best interests of the public. Commodity money has some intrinsic value due to the content of precious metal it is made up of or backed by, but debasement or increases in precious metal supply can cause inflation. Inflation is a decrease in the purchasing power of money, reflected in a general increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy.

  • Even though traders may not accept it; the population was left reassured that it had alternate uses.
  • We use money in this fashion because it is also a medium of exchange.
  • For instance, a $100 bill in American currency weighs no more than a $1 bill.
  • He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses.

If this list seems like a long one, I should point out that it doesn’t even scratch the surface. At various example of commodity moneys and places there has been an almost endless list of other types of physical commodity that has been used as money but, as mentioned already, precious metal is by far the most important. Gold and Silver have both been used throughout history, and perhaps they will again someday soon if the current precarious experiment with fiat money comes to an unfortunate end.


The additional $900 has been generated as debt by the bank and reflects commercial bank money. Because it has not been recognized as legal tender by the government, as opposed to fiat money, individuals are not obligated to accept it as a form of payment under the law as a result. Instead, if the bearer demands it, the issuer of fiduciary money offers to swap it for a commodity or fiat money at the issuer’s discretion.

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