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Can virtual currencies drive sustainable de-growth?

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Claudio Vitari

Abstract

By one hand, the nature of money influences the objects, the objectives and the methods of production and consumption. On the other hand, the distribution of money influences human behaviors, the supply and the demand of goods, and hence their prices. Today, the banking sector enjoys the privilege of creating around 95% of the money supply. Moreover, as bank money bears interest as a condition of its existence, it has long been argued that a systemic growth imperative is inherent to its design. The pursuit of the interrelated goals of ecological sustainability and social justice calls for changes to money-as-usual. This article focuses on degrowth as a novel paradigm that advances changes in money nature and distribution. We scrutinize electronic currencies, which may be defined as alternatives or complements to legal tender money that circulate in electronic forms. At the hearth of the electronic currencies, Information and Communication Technology has the potential for changing modern society. But does Information and Communication Technology shape our society for purposive degrowth? The article aims to explore to what extent electronic currencies can be considered as practical initiatives for advancing socially equitable and ecologically sustainable degrowth. A literature review is the method employed to bring a first preliminary answer to the research question. Our results show that electronic currencies can contribute at the individual level to support purchases and at the society level to support optimal allocation of resources. Nothing emerged, in literature, supporting the hypothesis that electronic currency could shape our society for purposive degrowth. Extension of the literature review and empirical study of electronic currencies in action will be the next research steps.
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Dates and versions

halshs-01924234 , version 1 (17-11-2018)

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01924234 , version 1

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Claudio Vitari. Can virtual currencies drive sustainable de-growth?. International Society of Ecological Economics Conference, 2014, Reykjavík, Iceland. ⟨halshs-01924234⟩

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