The future of Digital Stock markets

“Ah but it’s Digital now”. “Digital” a word whoever beginning lie in the latin digitalis, from digitus (“finger, toe”); now it’s use is synonymous with computers and television sets, cameras, music players, watches, etc, etc, etc. But what of digital money or even digital democracy?

The printing press caused a wave in its private key cracker time, hailed as a democratic force for good by many. Books available to the masses was indeed a wave; and now we also have e-books and technological devices to see them with. The fact that the original words have been encoded into a statistical form and decoded back to words in an electronic format does not mean we trust less the word what we are reading, but organic beef still choose the appearance of a physical book than a piece of high-tech plastic which needs to have its battery charged to keep working. Can digital stock markets such as bitcoin really provide a contribution to positive social change in as spectacular a way?

To answer this we must ask what of money, how are we to understand it, use it and incorporate it into a sustainable type of a ‘better world for all? ha Money, unlike any other form of property, is unique in that it may be used for anything prior to an event even occurring. It implies nothing, yet can be used for great good or great evil, and yet it is only what it is despite its many manifestations and consequences. It is a unique but much misinterpreted and abused item. Money has the simplicity of assisting buying and selling, and a exact intricacy as demonstrated by the financial markets; and yet it has no notion of egalitarianism, meaning or honourable decision making. It acts as an autonomous thing, yet it is both endogenous and exogenous to the global community. It has no personality and is easily replaceable, yet it is treated as a limited resource in the global context, its growth dictated by some complex rules which determine just how it may behave. Yet understandably positive results will never be completely predictable and, furthermore; dedication to social justice and an aversion to meaning turpitude is not a element its use.

In order for a currency to effectively perform the financial functions required of computer, the intrinsic-value of money has to be a commonly held belief by those who use it. In December 2013 the us Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs acknowledged that virtual stock markets are a legitimate means of payment, an example of such is Bitcoin. Due to the very low transaction fees charged by the ‘Bitcoin network’ it gives a very real way to allow the transfer of funds from migrant workers sending money-back to their families and never having to pay high transfer fees currently charged by companies. A Western european Commission calculated that if the global average remittance of 10% were reduced to 5% (the ‘5×5’ effort endorsed by the G20 in 2011), this could cause an additional US$ teen thousand flowing into developing countries; the use of the blockchain would reduce these fees in close proximity to zero. These money transfer companies who remove wealth from the system could become dis-intermediated with the use of this structure.

Probably the most important specify note about cryptocurrencies is the distributed and decentralised nature of their networks. With the growth of the Internet, we are perhaps just seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in respect of future innovations which might exploit undiscovered potential for allowing decentralisation but at a hitherto unseen or great scale. Thus, whereas in the past, when there was a need for a large network it was only achievable using a hierarchical structure; with the consequence of the requirement of surrendering the ‘power’ of these network to a small number of those that have a controlling interest. It might be said that Bitcoin represents the decentralisation of money and the proceed to a simple system approach. Bitcoin represents as significant an advancement as peer-to-peer file sharing and internet telephone systems (Skype for example).

There is very little explicitly produced legal regulation for digital or virtual stock markets, however there are a wide range of existing laws which might apply depending on the place’s legal financial framework for: Taxation, Banking and Money Transferring Regulation, Sec Regulation, Criminal and/or municipal law, Consumer Rights/Protection, Pensions Regulation, Items and stocks regulation, yet others. So the two key issues facing bitcoin are whether it can be considered as legal tender, and if as an asset then it is classed as property. It’s quite common practice for nation-states to explicitly define currency as legal tender of another nation-state (e. grams. US$), preventing them from recognising other ‘currencies’ technically as currency. A notable exemption to this is Germany allowing you for the concept of a ‘unit of account’ that can therefore be taken as a form of ‘private money’ and can be used in ‘multilateral clearing sectors. In the other circumstance of being considered as property the obvious discrepancy here is that, unlike property, digital stock markets have the capacity of divisibility into much smaller amounts. Developed, open economies are generally permissive to digital stock markets. The usa has issued the most guidance and is highly represented on the map below. Capital controlled economies are effectively by definition contentious or hostile. As for many African-american and a few other countries the topic haven’t yet been addressed.

Beginning from the principles of democratic involvement it is immediately apparent that bitcoin does not fulfill the positive social impact part of this objective in as long as its value is not one it can have to put out influence over but is susceptible to market-forces. However any ‘new’ crypto-currency may offer democratic involvement when the virtual currency has different rules of governance and issuance based on more socially based democratic principles.

So what if a “digital” currency could provide a valid alternative to existing forms of money in performing the role of contributing positively to: the goals of promoting a socially inclusive culture, the equality of opportunity and the promotion of mutualism; which as their very name implies are alternative and/or contributory to an official or national sovereign currency? Virtual cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are a new and emerging dynamic in the system; though in their infancy, the pace of innovation in the field of cryptocurrencies had been dramatic.

There are many factors which determine the ‘effectiveness’ of money to bring about positive social and environmental change; pervading political ideology, economic environment, the desire of local communities and individuals to pursue alternative social outcomes whilst seeking to increase economic opportunity, building of social capital, and there are others. If a local digital currency could be designed to build extra resilience into a local economy and improve economic outcomes then introduction on a more widespread basis merits investigation. When the current financial state doesn’t deliver it is demonstrated in such ways as: increased social isolation, higher crime rates, physical dereliction, poor health, a lack of an awareness of community, amongst other undesirable social impacts.

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