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Economic Commentary

Private Money: Everything Old is New Again

It’s hard to pick up a newsmagazine or financial paper these days without reading about one of the new forms of electronic money. Although the business case for stored-value cards and cybermoney has not been proven in this country, media coverage has been lavish. Nearly all the stories, however, neglect one important fact: High-tech payments systems are best defined as a form of private money, something that has existed for centuries.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Good, Barbara. 1998. “Private Money: Everything Old is New Again.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 4/1/1998.