The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released a document on Bitcoin which appears to have been prepared for its Payments System Board one year ago.
The document was brought to light by an Australian reporter on reddit, who said it was released upon request based on Freedom of Information.
It has been praised for being well written and researched, as one will observe when going through it. It maintains a fairlyhigh standard of objectivity throughout. It dedicates itself to factual information, only drawing conclusions when it has to. Even its tone is strictly neutral, due in large part to its avoidance of disproportionate emphasis on the dangers of Bitcoin. It also helps even the layman understand the basics of Bitcoin, while still thorough enough to offer informative insights and data to even the more seasoned Bitcoiners.
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It goes back to the basics of the notion of a transaction ledger and a currency denominated as a scarce commodity in a section titled “Bitcoin: Rehashing Ideas of Stone and Gold”. In the footnote, it states:
“Indeed, Bitcoin has been compared to the stone coins of the Island of Yap. The multi-tonne coins were not physically moved; instead, changes to ownership were general knowledge, and therefore even a stone lost at sea could be used as a ‘coin’ – see Friedman (1991). Others have referenced Kocherlakota (1998) who argues that money is a form of memory.”
One will be amused (or saddened) by the nostalgia generated in its discussion of MtGox, which at the time of writing was the industry’s dominant exchange- although it had already been experiencing hiccups by then as well.
The document may offer some hope for enthusiasts hoping the country will take a more favorable stance toward cryptocurrency. Three weeks ago, National Bank of Australia announced that it plans to shut down the accounts of individuals trading in bitcoins due to the “unacceptable level of risk” their activities pose.