All Money Is ‘Fiat Money,’ Most Money Is ‘Credit Money’

Robert Hockett in Forbes:

There seems to be some confusion afoot about what ‘fiat currencies’ are, whether the dollar is one of them, and whether it ought or ought not to be. Much of this stems from latterday gold enthusiasts like Peter Schiff and, ironically, what I call his Cryptopian antagonists.

Goldbugs use ‘fiat’ as a term of opprobrium, suggesting that money by decree is a threat to liberty and currency value alike thanks to the power conferred on the state or its agent – the central banker. Cryptopians talk the same talk, thereby infuriating the likes of Schiff.

Schiff’s beef with the Cryptopians is that they replace what he views as one valueless instrument – the fiat dollar – with another, the so-called crypto asset – neither of which bears any ‘intrinsic’ value. Only substances like gold, Schiff maintains in his guise as a latterday exponent of ‘commodity money,’ retains that.

In this dispute we should count Schiff the dubious ‘winner,’ for at least he is backhandedly recognizing, unlike the Cryptopians, that scarcity alone, while necessary to what the political economists dubbed exchange value, is not sufficient. Some additional form of value is likewise requisite.
More here.