Bank of Italy Warns Against Creating Your Own Currency

Citizens Claim Right to Create Scriptural Euros.

Citizens conjure Euros out of thin air, just like banks.

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Create Your Own Currency!

Because the top cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum are open source, any one can create their own cryptocurrencies. While the proliferation of cryptocurrencies has central banks concerened, another more insidious and perhaps greater threat to central banks’ monopoly on money creation is the issuance of scriptural euros by citizens.

What are Scriptural Euros?

Scriptural Euros are Euros issued by citizens under a “theory of the autonomous creation of scriptural currency” based on the idea of collective property of money that affirms the right of every citizen to autonomously create “scriptural” money (Euros) via their own accounting records. The thoery of autonomous creation of scriptural currency holds that just as banks can conjure debt based money out of thin air, so can citizens. Money thus created by citizens can then be used to extinguish their own debts.

Apparently, citizen created euros have been accepted as payment. @marcosabait (Marco Saba) shared his experience on twitter whereby his scriptural Euros were accepted by Facebook as payment for advertising. This correspondence between @marcosabait and Facebook shows how @marcosabait created 25 Euros as payment to Facebook and Facebook accepted the citizen issued Euros as payment.

In the correspondence, @marcosabait informs Facebook Italy (in English) that banks AND citizens can create new Euro in electronic form and that he had just done so in the amount of 25 Euros and was submitting them as payment. He also referred Facebook to his Facebook page for more information on citizen created scriptural Euros.

Facebook responded in Italian by accepting @marcosabait payment of his self-created scriptural Euro, while noting his payment was being accepted this time, but such payments may not be honored in the future.

According to @marcosabait, Italian citizens have created more than 1 billion scriptural Euros since October 2016.

Internet Urban Legend?

Citizens conjuring money out of thin air and having that money accepted as payment all seems like internet urban legend. Perhaps, in the example above, the Facebook employee didn’t want to argue over 25 Euro and was just humoring @marcosabait. Or maybe, the correspondence itself was spurious. Certainly, the claim that more than 1 billion scriptural Euro have been created seems far fetched and that any large sum of scriptural Euros being accepted as payment seems even further afield. However…

The Bank of Italy Responds

Despite what might appear to be a ludicrous ploy to convince citizens they have the right to create their own Euros, the Bank of Italy is taking scriptual Euros seriously. Last month, the Bank of Italy issued a warning about the creation of scriptual Euros. Attached to the warning was a PDF that explained the Bank of Italy’s position on scriptual Euros.

The position paper is entitled “Scriptural Money Created by Citizens”. The paper notes that its purpose is to avoid “dangerous misunderstandings” involving scriptural Euros. The paper claims that only the Bank of Italy can issue the form of legal currency based on international and national legislation and that it is necessary for the Bank of Italy to have this power in order to guarantee overall confidence in currency and the stability of its value over time. The paper further notes that payment services through scriptwriting is an activity allowed by law only to authorized persons, such as banks, electronic money institutions and other payment institutions.

The paper concludes that “initiatives for the creation of a autonomous scriptural currency have no legal basis” and calls on citizens not to use such forms of currency.

The scriptural Euro issue may have more people asking questions about the creation of money out of thin air – if banks can do it, why can’t we?

h/t/@vijinho for alerting me to this developing story.

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