Crypto-currency

Banking without Banks

In recent months Dr. Tiemann has focused his research into economic and banking history on the California Gold Rush. He plans to produce a series of articles from that work. In this article, though, Dr. Tiemann examines the fascinating period just before the Gold Rush, when California’s economy suffered a severe shortage of cash and an absence of banks. Read about William A. Leidesdorff, a San Francisco merchant in the 1840s, who dealt with those handicaps by becoming, in effect, his own banker.

The Irony of Bitcoin

Dr. Tiemann reviews how Bitcoin, the new “crypto-currency,” works and shows that, while designed to not require the participation of banks or other trusted financial intermediaries, nevertheless, Bitcoin does require verification that can be established by ordinary people, which is not yet available.