In 1921, American industrialist Henry Ford proposed the creation of an “energy currency” that could form the basis of a new monetary system, offering striking similarities to the peer-to-peer electronic money system described in Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin (BTC). paper.
The first page of the New York Tribune is dated Sunday, December 4, 1921. Source: Library of Congress.
Bitcoin as an energy currency
On December 4, 1921, the New York Tribune published an article describing Ford’s vision of replacing gold with an energy currency that he believed could break the banking elite’s grip on global prosperity and end wars. He set out to do this by building “the world’s largest power plant” and creating a new currency system based on “power units”.
Ford, who founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903, told the publication:
“Within the energy monetary system, the standard would be a certain amount of energy spent per hour, equal to a dollar. It is simply thinking and calculating in terms different from those given to us by the International Banking Group that we are so used to. we believe that no other standard is desirable. ”
He said the details of the currency’s value “will be determined when Congress is interested in hearing them.”
Although Ford failed to develop his vision of a fully secure currency, Bitcoin apparently confirmed this idea a century later. Since 2009, over 18.8 million bitcoins have been created through energy-intensive mining, which requires computers to solve increasingly complex mathematical problems. This mining operation has drawn strong criticism for its alleged environmental impact – a short-term statement ignoring Bitcoin’s ability to accelerate its transition to renewable energy.
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Swap gold and end wars
Ford’s connection between gold and war Ford explained:
“The main evil of gold in relation to war is that it can be controlled. It breaks control and stops the war. ”
Some of Bitcoin’s most ardent supporters believe that sound monetary principles for cryptocurrency can eliminate war by limiting a country’s ability to finance conflicts through inflation. While the gold standard prevents governments from inflating their currency, “international bankers,” Ford explained, control much of the bullion supply. The process of controlling and accumulating precious commodities allowed the economic elite to create an active money market that flourished during wartime.
The remnants of the gold standard were abandoned in 1971 by US President Richard Nixon, who announced that his government would temporarily suspend the conversion of the dollar into bullion. The so-called quasi-gold standard lasted until 1973, and all tariffs linking the dollar and bullion were abolished by 1976. However, the gold standard system was abolished by the British government in 1931, and the United States followed two years later.
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The New York Tribune article was circulated on the r / CryptoCurrency Reddit page on Saturday and received a large number of votes. Although Satoshi Nakamoto never mentioned Henry Ford in his online forum posts, some Reddit users have speculated that the Bitcoin creator may have been influenced by the late industrialist. Others joked that Satoshi was actually a reincarnation of Ford, given the latter’s apparent belief in reincarnation.