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Is Bitcoin fatally flawed?

August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Is Bitcoin fatally flawed?

The fact that bitcoin has a fixed supply limit – 21 million – may mean it may be fatally flawed in its attempt to be money (a monetary item possessing the three attributes of money) because the limit in supply may result in it never being able to be relatively stable in real value: an essential requirement for money.

Bitcoin may thus never be able to be used as a relatively stable unit of measure for accounting purposes. Bitcoin may thus never be able to replace fiat money.

However, bitcoin may come to dominate the market for a cheap, digital medium of exchange if its exchange technology could be improved to make it a very cheap, instantaneous, peer-to-peer, digital medium of exchange.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Is bitcoin closing in on usurping the sovereign power of creating money?

August 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Is bitcoin closing in on usurping the sovereign power of creating money?

Bitcoin is a very exciting and innovative technology.
Bitcoin has for the first time ever made all of us realize that anyone – not just sovereign states – can invent a monetized money-like crypto-medium-of-exchange that could become very popular very quickly and may result in improving the world in a very positive way.
The power to create money is a sovereign power. Sovereign powers (for example, to be a state, with a constitution, print fiat money, etc.) are the second highest level of power. Only judicial power is higher: the supreme court judges can remove the president.
The fact that bitcoin is almost (not actually yet) usurping a sovereign power – the power to create money to be used on a national and global scale (private money was created on a national scale in the past) – is an historic event. At the moment bitcoin is still not yet money: it is a monetized money-like crypto payment platform with a relatively unstable non-monetary real value , but it is getting close to being money.
If bitcoin were ever to actually become money, i.e., a monetary item with a relatively stable real value that accountants can assume to be perfectly stable like they assume all fiat currencies are perfectly stable in real value during low and high inflation and deflation under the historical cost paradigm when they implement the traditional Historical Cost Accounting model, then it would create a legal storm because I think all countries´ legal systems state that only the sovereign state can create fiat money: a fiat monetary item subject to inflation and deflation.
The reason bitcoin is not banned outright globally is the fact that it is not money: it is a property (as ruled by the US, China and other countries): a variable real value non-monetary item. Sovereign states generally have no problems with newly invented assets/properties. Sovereign states, however, guard their unique power to create money very jealously.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Money can be a monetary or a non-monetary item

August 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Money can be a monetary or a non-monetary item

Fiat money can be either a nominal monetary item or a variable real value non-monetary item depending on where it is being used: inside the economy where it was created or outside.

Fiat money is a monetary item only within the economy where it is created. In this case, fiat money´s real value is eroded by inflation (low, high and hyperinflation) and increased by deflation within the local economy.

The net monetary loss or gain in the real value of monetary items is not calculated and accounted under the historical cost paradigm during low and high inflation and deflation. It is calculated and accounted under the constant purchasing power paradigm required under IFRS inIAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies during hyperinflation.

Fiat money as a monetary item is generally never perfectly stable in real value over time during inflation and deflation. However, fiat money as a monetary item within the economy where it is created is assumed to be perfectly stable in real value by accountants, economists, business people and people in general for the measurement of many (not all) economic items under the historical cost paradigm, i.e., implementing the Historical Cost Accounting model during low and high inflation and deflation.

When a country´s currency is used outside the economy where it was created, i.e., when it is used as a foreign currency in another economy, then it is a variable real value non-monetary item. The real value of fiat money used as foreign currency is determined in terms of other currencies in the multitude of foreign exchange markets around the world. A foreign currency´s real value in terms of other currencies is not determined just by the inflation rate in the economy where it was created, although this is an important factor taken into account by buyers and sellers in the forex market. Many other factors besides inflation or deflation are taken into account by buyers and sellers of currencies in foreign exchange markets when they determine the exchange rate of a foreign currency in terms of their own currency.

An entity with its head-office in a particular economy values the local fiat currency as monetary items under the historical cost paradigm during low and high inflation and deflation. Local currencies are always assumed to be perfectly stable in real value over time under the historical cost paradigm.

An entity generally values foreign fiat currencies it holds as variable real value non-monetary items in terms of the constantly changing forex rates in the forex market.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

All digital fiat currencies (92% of the global money supply) are created in decentralized commercial banks

August 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

All digital fiat currencies (92% of the global money supply) are created in decentralized commercial banks

Ecuador will be the last (latest), not the first, country to create its own digital currency. Ecuador does not currently have its own digital currency because it currently does not have its own currency. It is a dollarized economy. Ecuador uses the mainly digital US Dollar as digital medium of exchange in the country. 92% of the US Dollar money supply inside the Ecuadorian economy is exchanged in a digital USD format daily. All countries issuing fiat money have digital currencies for a long time already. 92% of the world´s money supply is in the form of digital fiat currencies. These digital fiat currencies were/are created in decentralized commercial banks via decentralized fractional reserve banking.Sweden´s central bank does not require Swedish commercial banks to keep reserves with the Riksbank. It is the oldest central bank in the world.

Fiat digital currencies (all currencies in the world) are not centrally created. They are digitally created in a decentralized way in the various national commercial banks via digital decentralized fractional reserve banking.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Ecuador cryptocurrency

August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ecuador cryptocurrency

 

Ecuador has banned bitcoin and announced that it is going to create its own cryptocurrency to be used alongside the US Dollar in the country.

Ecuador and all other countries have virtual fiat currencies. All countries transact their fiat currencies 24/7, 365 days a year via the 70-year-old (or older) global fiat virtual currency very secure fiat banking system. 92% of all the fiat money in the world is only transacted virtually. I think it most probably is done with values being sent encrypted. Thus 92% of all real money is transacted virtually and encrypted. The virtual fiat currencies are not crypto virtual commodities (like bitcoin) created via blockchain technology: they are virtual representations of physical fiat currency banknotes and coins.
For Ecuador to create its own cryptocurrency it has to create a virtual currency fundamentally very different from the virtual crypto commodity called bitcoin.
Ecuador does not have its own national fiat currency. It is a dollarized economy. It uses the US Dollar as its national currency for the sake of relative monetary stability. Thus, Ecuador is subject to inflation (erosion of the real value) in the USD as experienced in the US.
Ecuador is attempting something very unique. It has to create a cryptocurrency that is actually a monetary item or real money like the USD inside the US economy. Monetary items are all items in a country´s money supply. If an item appears on the list of items (cash, notes, coins, loans, bonds, etc.) in the central bank´s list of items that make up the money supply, then it is a monetary item. If not, it is a non-monetary item, like bitcoin. Monetary items are fiat money and subject to inflation and deflation. Money, i.e., a monetary item, is relatively stable in real value like the USD, Euro, Yuan, etc. Accountants actually assume money (all fiat currencies) is perfectly stable in real value for the valuation of many items in a business under the traditional Historical Cost Accounting model during low and high inflation and deflation. The items that accountants value in nominal assumed-to-be perfectly stable fiat value, include, but are not limited to capital, retained income, all profits, all losses, salaries, wages, rent, taxes, all expenses, trade debtors, trade creditors, all revenue, all income, all items in the income statement, cash, bank balances, money loan balances, etc.
Ecuador thus has to create a cryptocurrency with an assumed to be perfectly stable in real value per unit of cryptocurrency. That is not the case with bitcoin. Accountants in Ecuador are going to assume this new cryptocurrency (if they actually manage to create it) is perfectly stable in real value for the valuing/measurement of the above stated items in balance sheets and income statements of businesses in Ecuador. That is not the case with the crypto commodity bitcoin which is a variable real value non-monetary item, the real value of which changes minute by minute on the various bitcoin exchanges around the world. That is also the case with fiat currency when the fiat currency is transacted as foreign exchange, that is, outside the economy where the fiat currency is created. Inside the economy where the fiat currency is created, the fiat currency notes and coins maintain their nominal values fixed, but their real value is determined by the rate of inflation or deflation.
Bitcoin will never be assumed to be perfectly stable in real value (like all fiat currencies) for accounting purposes because it is not a monetary item.
Thus Ecuador is really trying something very special. Ecuador is going to try and do what bitcoin should have been, i.e., a monetary item or money. Bitcoin is a virtual cryptocommodity with a constantly changing real value.
I wish Ecuador good luck. If they succeed it will be something very special and may be a fundamental breakthrough that will have a fundamental impact on the bitcoin phenomenon.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Distinguishing the Unit of Account from the Unit of Measure

July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Distinguishing the Unit of Account from the Unit of Measure

Distinguishing the Unit of Account from the Unit of Measure

The term “unit of account” does not appear in the conceptual framework, although the term “unit of measure” does, and both terms appear in accounting standards. 

However, because unit of measure and unit of account are sometimes treated as synonyms, we discuss the distinction between the two terms next. 

The Unit of Measure in the FASB’s Conceptual Framework

 The FASB Discussion Memorandum, An Analysis of Issues Related to Conceptual Framework for Financial Accounting and Reporting: Elements of Financial Statements and Their Measurement (1976), a publication that preceded the FASB’s Concepts Statements, describes the unit of measure in terms of the monetary unit to be used; that is, whether it should be nominalunits of money as opposed to units that are adjusted for changes in purchasing power over time (paragraphs 384-7). FASB Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises (1978), and Concepts Statement 6, mention unit of measure but do not define or describe it. FASB Concepts Statement 2, Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information (1980), uses the term without defining it but discusses it in the context of making comparisons based on units of money or units of invariant purchasing power (paragraph 114). 

FASB Concepts Statement No. 5, Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises (1984), describes the unit of measure in terms of nominal units of money or units of constant purchasing power, and then further describes it in terms of artificial monetary units 3 or units of a commodity, such as ounces of gold (paragraph 71). 

In the FASB’s conceptual framework, therefore, unit of measure refers to the numerals used in accounting measurement, in conjunction with recognition in financial statements or with disclosure in the notes to the financial statements. More specifically, it refers to the measurement unit (such as nominal dollars or price-level adjusted dollars), as opposed to the measurement attribute (such as historical cost or fair value). 

In contrast to the numerals that are used to measure an item, the unit of account refers to the words that are used to describe the item. That is, it relates to the specific assets and liabilities that are reported in financial statements rather than the units used to measure them. That is, unit of 
account refers to the object of recognition or display whereas unit of measure refers to the tool for measuring it.

The Unit of Measure in Accounting Standards 

 Unit of measure appears in several accounting standards. Those standards generally use the term in a manner that is consistent with its use in the Concepts Statements. 

For example, FASB Statement No. 19, Financial Accounting and Reporting by Oil and Gas Producing Companies (1977), discusses converting oil and gas reserves and oil and gas produced to a common unit of measure based on their relative energy content (paragraph 38). FASB Statement No. 52, Foreign Currency Translation (1981), uses the term in its Basis for Conclusions and defines the term in its glossary as “the currency in which assets, liabilities, 
revenues, expenses, gains, and losses are measured.” These uses of the term are consistent with the general meaning of the term in the Concepts Statements.”

Copyright (c) Johnson, L.T., The Unit of Account Issue, Financial Accounting Standards Research Initiative

With Bitcoin, generally accepted terms trump economic science

July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

With Bitcoin, generally accepted terms trump economic science

With Bitcoin, generally accepted terms trump economic science

An American federal judge stated that bitcoin is a unit of account, meaning monetary unit of measure. Bitcoin is a very unstable variable real value non-monetary item, not a monetary unit of measure. Bitcoin can never be a monetary unit of measure because it is not a monetary item. All monetary units of measure are assumed to be perfectly stable in real value for accounting purposes during low and high inflation and deflation. Bitcoins are not perfectly stable in real value and will never be assumed to be perfectly stable in real value because a bitcoin is a variable real value non-monetary item. Monetary unit of measure only refers to a fiat currency unit of measure.

Bitcoin is universally referred to as a currency. It can never be a currency. It is not a monetary item. It is a variable real value non-monetary item similar to rare digital stamps. All fiat currencies are assumed to be perfectly stable in real value during low and high inflation and deflation for accounting purposes. Bitcoin will never be assumed to be perfectly stable in real value.

Everyone is 100% sure that bitcoin is a decentralized payment platform. In fact, all bitcoins only exist in the single, centralized Bitcoin Public Ledger or single bitcoin repository. All bitcoins are deposited in this single repository. However, everyone is 100% sure it is a decentralized system.

Mining, the creation of bitcoins, is assumed or supposed to be decentralized, but all bitcoins are then deposited in the single central repository called the Bitcoin Public Ledger where they stay centralized in one place forever. Currently the company GHash controls 51% of mining which is a very dangerous situation for the Bitcoin system.

Public opinion and public practice will always override science in matters like these.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Bitcoin is not a monetary unit of measure or unit of account

July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Bitcoin is not a monetary unit of measure or unit of account

Bitcoin is not a monetary unit of measure or unit of accountA monetary unit of measure is often mistakenly called a unit of account by the man in the street and even by a US federal judge. See

Distinguishing the Unit of Account from the Unit of Measure

Money is always a monetary unit of measure. The best known monetary units of measure are the best known fiat currencies in use today: US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Peso, Rouble, Yuan, Yen, Shilling, etc. All fiat currencies are monetary units of measure.

They are all monetary items when used inside the economy where they are created. They are variable real value non-monetary items when used as foreign exchange outside the economy where they are created.

Money (any fiat currency) as the monetary unit of measure is the only unit of measure that is not based on a constant value. It is thus assumed for accounting purposes only under Historical Cost Accounting and Current Cost Accounting (which implement the stable measuring unit assumption) that all monetary units of measure are perfectly stable in real value for the purpose of measuring monetary items not inflation-indexed and constant real value non-monetary items only during low and high inflation and deflation.

All other units of measure are based on constant values, e.g., inch, foot, yard, mile, kilometer, meter, pound, gram, ounce, watt, etc.

monetary unit of measure is an assumed to be perfectly stable in real value, monetary item (fiat currency) – in the economy where it is created – used to account economic activity in terms of the double entry accounting model.

The best known double entry accounting model is the traditional, generally accepted, globally implemented Historical Cost Accounting model.

Other double entry accounting models are:

Capital Maintenance in Units of Constant Purchasing Power in terms of the Daily CPI.

Current Cost Accounting

Thus, bitcoin, the digital unit of the Bitcoin digital payment platform, is not a monetary unit of measure,  because all units of measure are either based on a perfectly constant base unit (e.g., inch, centimeter, gallon, pint, watt, ohm, etc.) or – only in the case of monetary items – assumed to be perfectly stable in real value only during low and high inflation and deflation and only under the Historical Cost Accounting and Current Cost Accounting models.

A bitcoin is not a monetary unit of measure because economic items are not generally priced or measured in bitcoins. No financial reports are prepared in bitcoins. No set of accounts is prepared in bitcoins.

Monetary units of measure are all monetary items (currencies) assumed to be perfectly stable in real value only during low and high inflation and deflation only under HCA and CCA.

Bitcoins are not perfectly stable in real value and are not and cannot be assumed to be perfectly stable in real value because they are not monetary items.

Bitcoin is always a variable real value non-monetary item similar to a limited issue rare stamp in digital form.

Thus, bitcoin is not and cannot be a monetary unit of measure for accounting purposes. Bitcoin is not a monetary unit of measure because it is not perfectly stable in real value and it is not and it cannot be assumed to be perfectly stable in real value because a bitcoin is not a monetary item.

Bitcoin is a digital variable real value non-monetary item. The bitcoin digital units are numbered in terms of the normal numbering system: 1, 2, 3, …..

The fact that a US federal judge referred to bitcoin as a unit of account (mistakenly meaning monetary unit of measure) does not constitute a binding definition or description since it was made under US common law. Any other US common law judge can have a different opinion.

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Definition of hyperinflation

June 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Definition of hyperinflation


The generally accepted definition of hyperinflation in the world economy is 100% cumulative inflation over three years. It comes to 26% annual or 1.95% monthly inflation for three years in a row.

The above definition is currently being used by the 147 countries that implement International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board. This definition has been used since April 1989 by the millions of accountants, business people, economists and all governments who implement IFRS. 

This definition of hyperinflation is contained in IAS 29 Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies that was authorized by the IASB in April 1989. 

“Par 3. This Standard does not establish an absolute rate at which hyperinflation is deemed to arise. It is a matter of judgement when restatement of financial statements in accordance with this Standard becomes necessary. Hyperinflation is indicated by characteristics of the economic environment of a country which include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) the general population prefers to keep its wealth in non-monetary assets or in a relatively stable foreign currency. Amounts of local currency held
are immediately invested to maintain purchasing power;

(b) the general population regards monetary amounts not in terms of the local currency but in terms of a relatively stable foreign currency. Prices
may be quoted in that currency;

(c) sales and purchases on credit take place at prices that compensate for the expected loss of purchasing power during the credit period, even if
the period is short;

(d) interest rates, wages and prices are linked to a price index; and

(e) the cumulative inflation rate over three years is approaching, or exceeds, 100%.”

There is today not one government in the world economy that uses any other definition of hyperinflation. 

Nicolaas Smith Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

High Frequency Traders make technology profits

June 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

High Frequency Traders make technology profits.

They make almost no profit per trade over almost no time with almost no risk millions of times.

Nicolaas Smith 


 Copyright (c) 2005-2014 Nicolaas J Smith. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.