Bernard von NotHaus, a professed monetary architect, will soon be sentenced for minting and distributing a form of private money called the Liberty Dollar.
This fascinating story brings up some important economic and political issues within society. A common currency was created to facilitate trade and that is the basis of the coinage system that we hae today. Underneath that is a question that is gnawing at me: who has a legal right to create a form of currency? Should a private citizen be allowed to create a new form of money and use that money with other citizens (assuming that they are not trying to pass it off as legal U.S. tender or to counterfeit it)? As this article states, the Constitution gives Congress the right “to coin money” and to “regulate the Value thereof” — but it doesn't explicitly grant an exclusive right to do creating currency. This sounds to me like the government is flexing it's muscles to shut down the operation because it shatters the illusion that the government wants to perpetuate that they are the sole provider of currency for economic exchange.