Money plays quite a significant role in the life of the people, and is practically determinant in society: those who have much of it are rich, a minority, the rest are poor or have just enough to subsist, since the middle classes are disappearing quite alarmingly.
Throughout history, most civilizations have used concrete goods as a means of payment that has allowed them to get pass the barter stage: shells, oil, spices, tobacco, precious metals....
Money fulfils four objectives these days:
- It is the mode of exchange for any kind of goods that allows countries to have different currencies that can be interchanged with each other;
- It is a unit of account, since all services and goods are measured with the same yardstick. It is a deposit of value, since it remains valid over time;
- Economists who sustain that money is a veil that masks the real economy - and Keynes's theories that take into account psychological elements in their reflections on money;
- Von Mises tells us that the emergence of money presupposes the existence of the division of labour, and that private property holds sway not only over consumer goods, but also over produced goods which are used to produce other goods.
Money has evolved over the centuries from primitive currencies into paper notes, to promissory notes, to plastic money, which is how bank cards are now known. However, this historical development is not yet over, since for some nine years now, other forms of money have been appearing. They are the so-called cryptocurrencies, particularly the Bitcoin which is the best known of them all. but what are cryptones? Are they simply decentralised, uncontrolled currencies that prevent us from knowing who their owners are, and thereby facilitating illicit operations such as money laundering from drugs or organized crime?
Some quite critical questions to which the Authorities are beginning to give an answer. Nevertheless, the truth is that while this is happening, in these nine years, the acceptance of this type of money is finding acceptance in the "advanced" countries of the world. In old Europe, EU institutions, which move at a different pace, have already taken legal steps to regularize the situation.
To be more specific, in Spain the police has a research team to fight against fraud. Also, the Public Treasury that has not wanted to speak in this issue on the subject, invokes the confidentiality with which they are carrying out their research on the use of this type of money to find out who is behind it.
In this special issue on money and particularly on Bitcoin, you will find quite valuable information to form an idea of what these new forms of money are, the legal aspects, and above all, the advantages and risks of using them. I hope that the law, to which we all have to be subject, will promptly clear up all the doubts that still exist and soon, we will all know, in what territory we are faced with an international phenomenon known as Bitcoin, which already occupies physical places through public ATMs that we find, casually, in well-known commercial areas. Enjoy reading.