We'd see six metals in circulation, though not necessarily all at the same time, or not necessarily all in similar denominations/sizes.
Left free, the market will eventually settle on this:
Coins, Bars & Bricks based on either the Troy Ounce or the Gram.
Items issued in the following ratio: 1:2:5:10 etc.
This means you would have say 1g, 2g, 5g, 10g, 20g, 50g, 100g et cetera coins/bars/bricks.
(or 1/10 toz., 1/5 toz., 1/2 toz. 1 toz., 2 toz., 5 toz., 10 toz. et cetera if using the Troy system)
Perhaps maybe some would try to stick with old named denominations, but I don't see them lasting. (dollars, reals, marks, pounds et cetera) The math is too complicated and the items are not easily interchangeable.
A system based on either Troy ounces which is widely know, or grams, which is the international standard for measuring any quantity of anything, is more likely to be used on a wide spread basis.
Now, there are six metals which lend themselves to use as money, due to their atomic properties:
Each will be likely minted and circulated to some extent.
Copper and Nickel will fill the role of every day coinage. Which sees more use depends on market forces and the current state of industry for that metal at the time. Having both, allows for flexibility without monetary deflation problems. Inflation will not occur, because Gresham's Law will pull the off value metal out of circulation.
Silver will be more of a mainstay for every day purchases, and will essentially be the main currency.
Gold and Palladium will serve long term savings needs, and be used for very large purchases.
Most likely, governments and business will use gold for capital purchases rather than the lesser three metals.
The same rules for Copper and Nickel apply here for Gold and Palladium.
Platinum and Palladium may also trade places from time to time until mining is more stable between the two.
Because of this, Gold may fill a larger role, but when those two stabilize in production and usage, I expect to see all three hold a spot at the top for such purchases and long term savings.
Certainly, people will try to issue notes "backed" by various metals. These will fail, and people will stop trusting them.
More likely, people will trust and use a system of electronic payment, where the quantity in circulation is constantly audited and cannot be increased without mining production and fabrication. e-Gold is such a system right now. I see banks quickly getting up to speed on how to deal with this issue. The kinks are essentially already worked out.
The only issue will come from the banks themselves and their desire to use your deposits for their own gain.
If they stick to transaction fees, they'll likely not cause problems.
If they try to get into lending schemes - we'll need some sort of solution.
I foresee a need to require a barrier between three types of institutions:
A - clearinghouses/payment processors - what we commonly refer to as "banks"
These should not be allowed to loan out anything at all. They take deposits, and process payment transactions. They make their money on transaction fees.
B - savings and loans - likely just as they are now, but a limit on the level of risk that can be incurred by making the loans. Loans come out of savings and must be voted on by the savers. No payment processing is conducted at all.
The institution makes a profit on loan fees - no interest. They share some of this with depositors. If any "interest" is to be charged, it must be only to a business and only in the form of a return on what is produced by the business.
C - Speculation Houses - what most banks are today.
They loan at high risk, make money on interest, and share them with depositors. Only deposited money may be loaned. But the loans do not need to be voted on by depositors. They are controlled by the bank. No payment processing at this level either.
We could try to implement these reforms, but leaving the market to decide the best course how to get there would be the better option.
What we need to do is remove all government barriers to this happening on its own, and then letting people loose to find their own solutions.
I surmise, something like what you read above is what will be left when the dust settles.
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