The rapid proliferation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has brought world’s attention to a fascinating idea by economist Friedrich von Hayek: competing private currencies. In the Nobel laureate’s 1976 book, Denationalization of Money, Hayek argues that there is no innate reason for governments to have a monopoly on money. He advocates a system of private currencies in which financial institutions and individuals create currencies that compete for acceptance. Hayek also points out that stability in value is presumed to be the decisive factor
for acceptance. Cryptocurrencies, thanks to their innovative solutions to decentralization and privacy, have become popular contenders in the private currency competition. However, major cryptocurrencies are subject to massive price volatility, making them attractive to speculators but unsuitable for mainstream use.