Way back in 1921, Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company proposed “energy currency” that could form the basis of a new monetary system — with striking similarities to the peer-to-peer electronic cash system outlined in Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin (BTC) whitepaper.
On December 4, 1921, the New York Tribune published an article outlining Ford’s vision of replacing gold with an ‘energy currency’ that he believed could break the banking elites’ grip on global wealth and put an end to wars. He intended to do this by building “the world’s greatest power plant” and creating a new currency system based on “units of power.”
Ford, was quoted in the article saying:
“Under the energy currency system the standard would be a certain amount of energy exerted for one hour that would be equal to one dollar. It’s simply a case of thinking and calculating in terms different from those laid down to us by the international banking group to which we have grown so accustomed that we think there is no other desirable standard.”
The exact details about the currency values “will be worked out when Congress cares to hear about it,” he told in the article.
Despite Ford never made his vision of a fully-backed currency reality, Bitcoin is quite similar to the idea a century later. Since 2009, more than 18.8 million bitcoins have been created through energy-intensive mining that requires computers to solve increasingly complex math problems.
While the proof-of-work (PoW) mining process has been heavily criticism over its alleged environmental impact, many have argued that it’s short-sighted claim that ignores Bitcoin’s abilily to accelerate the shift to renewable energy.
Replacing gold and ending wars
“The essential evil of gold in its relation to war is the fact that it can be controlled. Break the control and you stop war,” said Ford.
Some of Bitcoin’s biggest supporters argue that the cryptocurrency’s sound money principles could eliminate war by reducing the state’s ability to fund conflict through inflation. While a gold standard makes it harder for governments to inflate their currency, “international bankers,” as Ford explained, controlled the bulk of the bullion supply. This process of controlling and accumulating precious commodities allowed financial elites to create an active market for money, which thrived during wartime.
The gold standard were abandoned in 1971 by U.S. President Richard Nixon, who said his government would temporarily suspend convertibility between dollars and bullion. The so-called quasi-gold standard would only last until 1973. Any links between the dollar to bullion were removed by 1976. It’s worth noting that the British government dropped gold standard in 1931.
The New York Tribune article circulated on Reddit’s r/CryptoCurrency page on Saturday, where it received considerable upvotes. While Satoshi Nakamoto never mentioned Henry Ford in online forum posts, some Reddit users speculated that Bitcoin’s creator may have been influenced by the late industrialist.
Source: Henry Ford Proposed 'Energy Currency' Similar to Bitcoin 100 Years Ago – Fintechs.fi