Types of Money: Fiat, Commodity & Commercial Bank Money


gold and silver

Product money has several advantages, including the ability to redesign the raw form of the commodity into commodity money, the fact that the government never controls commodity money, and so on. Nature is exploited to a considerable degree in commodity money. It should be easily divided into small quantities so that its original use value can be identified-enough so that a useful quantity of the commodity can be carried or transported. When a good is indivisible, immobile, or has a low initial usage value, problems can occur.


Conversely, fiat money meaning signifies a currency backed by the full credit of the government. Thus, it triggers immense security through decreased demand for commodities. This also helps consumers avoid their storage and brings in surged cost security.

Commodity Money Examples

Commodity monies take longer to grow, thus leading to slower expansion. Explain what distinguishes money from other assets in the economy. Consider what happens when Lucy visits Bank A, and she deposits $1000 dollars in her checking account. Bank A can keep $100 aside and use the rest to lend it to another client, John. The reserve requirement, in this case, is 10% of the deposit.

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  • We have already seen what commodity money is and why people trust it, but let’s dive in and see what characteristics it has.
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  • During the 11th century, the government established a monopoly on its issuance, and about the end of the 12th century, convertibility was suspended.
  • Inflation measures the rate at which the average price levels in an economy increase over time.
  • Fiat money has attributed value because a government declares it legal tender – it has no intrinsic value.

The value of the currency was determined based on the fixed price established. You also have M0, which is the monetary base in an economy, which covers the entire currency that is either at the hands of the public or in bank reserves. What’s the difference between gold and cash as a type of money? Why do we use cash and not other types of money to perform transactions?

Fiat money

In some regions, such as New England and the Carolinas, the bills depreciated significantly and there was a hike in prices as the bills lost value. During wars, countries turn to fiat currencies to preserve the value of precious metals such as gold and silver. For example, the Federal Government of the United States turned to a form of fiat currency referred to as “Greenbacks” during the American Civil War. The government halted the convertibility of its paper money to gold or silver during this war. In economies, money is used to exchange products and services. Money, as well as its origins and value, are defined by economists.

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In ancient times, people offered paper money to owners of precious metals to have a specific amount of it. Notable examples are the assignats during the French Revolution and the continental currency during the American Revolution. Other notable historical examples of fiat currencies were the “greenbacks” used during the American Civil War period, and the paper marks used in the early 1920s in Germany.

Explain the difference between commodity money and fiat money. Examples of fiduciary money include instruments such as checks, banknotes, and drafts. They are a type of money as holders of fiduciary money can convert them into fiat or other types of money. Fiduciary money is a type of money that gets its value from both parties accepting it as a medium of exchange in a transaction. Whether fiduciary money is worth anything is decided by the anticipation that it will be widely recognized as a future means of trade. Other examples of goods that have been used as commodity money include copper, corns, tea, shells, cigarettes, wine, etc.

Is Bitcoin a fiat or commodity?

Is Bitcoin a Fiat Currency? Bitcoin is not a fiat currency, since it's not a legal tender issued by the government. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency backed by blockchain technology and free of a central authority.

By 1745, its paper money was inconvertible to specie, but acceptance was mandated by the government. This fiat currency depreciated so rapidly that by 1776 it was returned to a silver standard. Fiat money also has other beginnings in 17th-century Europe, having been introduced by the Bank of Amsterdam in 1683.

History Of Fiat Money

The following article will provide you with a comprehensive explanation of each form of currency with examples and clearly outlines how they are different from each other. A fiat-money currency greatly loses its value should the issuing government or central bank either lose the ability to, or refuse to, continue to guarantee its value. Some examples of this are the Zimbabwean dollar, China’s money during 1945 and the Weimar Republic’s mark during 1923.

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Like commodity money, fiat money has value because it is determined to have value by the most concerned. In this case, the government issues fiat money, such as the U.S. government. Proponents of the gold standard argue that this type of system helps control credit expansion and controls the lending standards employed by banks.

Commodity money, on the other hand, includes items such as gold, silver, copper, tea, and so on. The quantity of gold coined in a commodity monetary system, such as the gold standard, is determined by market forces. The amount of gold sent to the mint for coinage and the number of gold coins melted for other purposes determine the number of gold coins required by the general population. As a result, the intelligence and understanding of all those who regulate the supply of money can be said to determine the value of commodity money.

The ‘intrinsic value’ of commodity is a crucial part of building its trust. We can look back many centuries to when goods such as tobacco or salt were used as money. People would use them to trade with each other as they were commonly used goods. Even if nobody would accept it, the owner could use it for their purposes. So if someone went to market with a pound of tobacco and nobody would accept it, they would be able to smoke it instead. There are four main characteristics of commodity money – it’s durable, divisible, easily exchangeable, and rare.


https://www.beaxy.com/ money is valued by its face value even though its intrinsic value is lower than its commodity value. Consumer confidence in the government puts value on fiat money. The value of fiat money or its exchange rate comes from the supply-demand forces in the foreign exchange market. The stability of the government is the main factor that changes the value of fiat money. Fiat money is mostly paper currency issued by the central bank by the authority of the government.

The first issue of playing card money occurred during June 1685 and was redeemed three months later. However, the shortages of coinage reoccurred and more issues of card money were made during subsequent years. Eventually, the Governor of New France acknowledged their useful role as a circulating medium of exchange. Fiat money is a medium of exchange that is backed by the government and nothing else.


Commodity money refers to currency that has been created out of a metal or substance that is of value, and therefore carries a value from what it is made out of. In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint produced a million dollar gold bullion coin and sold five of them. In 2015, the gold in the coins was worth more than 3.5 times the face value. Fiat money has also an alternate name known as fiat currency. But for the immediate future, fiat currency is what we have to play with, and likely into our children’s future as well.

All because the physical supply of gold backs the extension of credit. Money communicates no worth; there remains no difference; the value is symbolic, whether gold, paper, or electronic. Money actually derives its value from the functions it allows, such as a medium of exchange, storehouses of wealth, or a unit of measurement. Explain how does the Federal Reserve Bank determines the money supply.

What is commodity money also known as?

Commodity money is also know as standard money because it is the monetary unit which is approved by the government to act as the legal tender in the currency system and in which other types of money in the economy like bank draft, promissory not etc. is convertible.

The value of difference between commodity and fiat money money is influenced by the success of a country’s economy, governance, and the impact of these variables on interest rates. Political turmoil is likely to result in a weak currency and higher commodity prices, making it difficult for individuals to purchase the goods they require. It works when the public has enough faith in a fiat currency’s ability to function as a purchasing power storage medium.

  • Learn more about its definition, types, function, how and why it was created and why money cannot just be printed when countries are running out of it.
  • The main types of money include fiat money, commodity money, fiduciary money, and commercial banks money.
  • There are different forms of representative money, such as credit cards and checks, which represent an intent to pay.
  • We all accept fiat currencies because we know that the government has officially promised to maintain their value and function.
  • They trust that it will be accepted by merchants and other people.

John then uses the $900 to purchase an iPhone from another customer, Betty. Furthermore, if individuals lose confidence in a country’s currency, the money will no longer have any purchasing power. You can think of commodity money as a good that can be used as money. Debasement refers to lowering the value of a currency, particularly of one based on a precious metal, by adding metal of inferior value. Monetarist theory suggests that inflation is alternatively the reduction in the purchasing power of a unit of currency in an economy. Inflation measures the rate at which the average price levels in an economy increase over time.

As society progressed, people began to use commodities to trade, which meant trading as before, but using an abundant but valuable material to trade with. Using a commodity goods was a remedy to the inefficiency, and early uses included skins and corn. This was an ideal way to trade with all other goods, and determine an agreed price. Commodity money was a stepping stone to money as we know it today, as it introduced the idea of a universally understood value, and a value that is applicable to all things. In the present age, some notable examples of fiat currency include the US dollar, euro and the pound sterling.

For instance, early civilizations used gold and silver coins as money. These coins were worth exactly what the material used in their making was worth. M1, the narrowest definition of the money supply, includes assets that are perfectly liquid. M2 provides a broader measure of the money supply and includes somewhat less liquid assets. DOGE Amounts represent money supply data in billions of dollars for October 2010, seasonally adjusted. The government, on the other hand, does not issue commodity money or determine its value.