Towards a post-cash society: An application to convert fiat money into a cryptocurrency

  • Steve Jonathan Huckle University of Sussex
  • Martin White University of Sussex
  • Rituparna Bhattacharya University of Sussex
Keywords: Bitcoin, Ether, Ethereum, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Demonetisation, Fiat Money, Banknotes, Currency, Sovereignty, Monetary Sovereignty

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss an application that uses blockchain technology to transfer fiat money into a cryptocurrency — Ether. A typical use of this technology could be to become a component of a larger system, whereby, after traveling, a customer can exchange leftover foreign currency for their local denomination. However, a more interesting application could be to convert fiat money into a cryptocurrency to facilitate a demonetisation scheme, such as that implemented recently in India. In the latter context, we describe the development of our blockchain application against the ramifications of demonetisation and whether the Indian government could have augmented that scheme through technology such as ours. We discuss why the Indian government has not contemplated such a measure, which also leads to a discussion of whether they might have considered adopting their own cryptocurrency. However, even though the Indian public seems willing to adopt the technology, we find that unlikely. Finally, we show that our application demonstrates that fiat money to cryptocurrency conversion is technically feasible, but the Indian government is unlikely to consider such technology due to issues surrounding monetary sovereignty.

Author Biography

Steve Jonathan Huckle, University of Sussex
PhD Researcher, Department of Engineering and Informatics
Published
2017-02-21
How to Cite
Huckle, S. J., White, M., & Bhattacharya, R. (2017). Towards a post-cash society: An application to convert fiat money into a cryptocurrency. First Monday, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i3.7410