We have lived in an era of fiat money since the early 1970s. Since then virtually all money in existence has only had a value based on trust and, in particular, trust in governments’ ability to maintain its value. Prior to this period, most of the money in existence through history was backed by a commodity – usually a precious metal like gold or silver.
When money broke loose from such an arrangement inflation tended to increase (often dramatically), and when money returned to it inflation was becalmed. We think fiat money systems should be inherently unstable and prone to high inflation all other things being equal. Politically it is always too tempting to create money when nothing is backing it.
That this current fiat system has survived so long has required a fortuitous set of global forces across multiple decades that have created sizeable natural offsetting disinflationary forces. The forces that have held the current fiat system together now look fragile and they could unravel in the 2020s. If so, that will start to lead to a backlash against fiat money and demand for alternative currencies, such as gold or crypto could soar.
The Deutsche Bank report Imagine 2030 is available online https://www.dbresearch.com/PROD/RPS_EN-PROD/PROD0000000000503196/Imagine_2030.pdf
Source: Deutsche bank report Imagine 2030