8370 Kinds of Money

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Would you believe that there were 8370 different kinds of paper money in circulation not too long ago?

If you were like many, the first question to come to your mind would be how is that possible? There are a couple hundred countries now and there were even fewer in the 1800s and 1900s. How is that possible?

What if I now tell you that all these 8370 different kinds of paper money were in circulation in America (in the 1840s)?

True or False.

Though the answer seems false by any standard, it was indeed true.

Jacob Goldstein in his book “Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing”, writes “In many parts of America in the 1840s and ‘50s, anyone who wanted to could print money. Not surprisingly lots of people wanted to.

It’s uncanny but not surprising that 170 years later, there are now more than 6000+ Cryptocurrencies. It’s just a matter of time that we will surpass the 8370 number.

History is now repeating itself where anyone who wants to come out with their version of money is coming out with their COINs. Many call them Altcoins or cryptocurrencies developed after bitcoin became popular. Another name for most altcoins is shitcoins but more on shitcoins in a future post.

I am reminded of a wonderful quote by Alexander Smith; “I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.

Stay Tuned and Have a wonderful weekend.