Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Improbable Rise and Fall of E-Gold

So in early 1996, Jackson began programming a back-end system for a new electronic currency, practicing medicine by day, and coding by night.

He hired a software engineer to create the user interface, and four months later launched E-Gold.

As Jackson envisioned it, E-Gold was a private, international currency that would circulate independent of government controls, and stand impervious to the market’s highs and lows. Brimming with evangelical enthusiasm, Jackson proclaimed it a cure for the modern monetary system’s ills and described it at one point as “an epochal change in human destiny” and “probably the greatest benefit to humanity that’s ever been thought of.”

Timberlake, the economics professor, is convinced that Jackson’s radical dream, his goal of upsetting the economic status quo and overturning the government’s monopoly on money, is what really got E-Gold targeted.

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