Bitcoin appears to meet the definition of a power-backed currency proposed by the famous American inventor during the interwar period.
In 1921, the American industrialist Henry Ford Suggest creating a Energy Coin It could form the basis of a new monetary system, offering striking similarities to the peer-to-peer electronic cash system described in the White Paper. Bitcoin (BTC) de 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Cover of the New York Tribune, 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 wealth and end wars. He intended to do this by building the “world’s largest power plant” and creating a new monetary system based on “energy units”.
Ford who founded Ford Motor Company In 1903, he told the publication: “Under the Energy Currency System, the standard would be a certain amount of energy exercised during one hour equal to one dollar. It is simply a state of thinking and arithmetic in different terms than what we have been given. We created the International Banking Group to which we are so accustomed that we We believe that no other standard is desirable.”
He said details about the currency’s values ”will be resolved when Congress is interested to hear it.”
Although Ford was unable to further his vision of a fully backed currency, Bitcoin validated the idea a century later. Since 2009, more than 18.8 million bitcoins have been created through a power-intensive mining process that requires computers to solve increasingly complex mathematical problems. This Proof of Work mining operation has drawn heavy criticism for its alleged environmental impact, a short-sighted claim that ignores Bitcoin’s ability to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.
“The essential evil of gold in its relationship to war is the fact that it can be controlled,” Ford said. “It broke control and stopped the war.”
Exchange gold and end wars
On the relationship between gold and war, Ford explained: “The essential evil of gold in its relationship to war is the fact that it can be controlled. Control breaks and war stops.”
Some of Bitcoin’s most ardent proponents believe that sound money principles for cryptocurrencies can eliminate war by limiting a country’s ability to finance conflict through inflation. While the gold standard makes it difficult for governments to inflate their currency, “international bankers,” as Ford explained, control most of the bullion supply. The process of control and accumulation of valuable goods allowed the financial elites to create an active money market, which flourished during the war.
The remains of the gold standard were abandoned in 1971 by the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, who said his government would temporarily suspend convertibility between dollars and bullion. The so-called quasi-gold standard would last until 1973, and in 1976 all tariffs linking the dollar to bullion were removed. However, in reality, the gold standard system was eliminated by the British government in 1931, and the United States followed suit two years later.
The New York Tribune article circulated on Reddit’s r/CryptoCurrency page on Saturday, receiving a large number of upvotes. While 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 jokingly said that Satoshi was actually an incarnation of Ford, given the latter’s apparent belief in reincarnation.
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