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Distributed Agency$
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N. J. Enfield and Paul Kockelman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190457204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2019

Money as Token and Money as Record in Distributed Accounts

Money as Token and Money as Record in Distributed Accounts

Chapter:
(p.109) Chapter 12 Money as Token and Money as Record in Distributed Accounts
Source:
Distributed Agency
Author(s):

Bill Maurer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457204.003.0012

The agencies of money gain new currency as new privately owned systems for creating and transferring value occupy the imagination of industry players and regulators, as well as us everyday folk. Experts have predicted the end of cash and coin almost as soon as modern governments standardized their issue. But before there was coin, there were records of transactions warranting other transactions and literally inscribing (in clay, stone, papyrus) the distributed agencies of human interaction. Asking after the infrastructures facilitating that transfer leads to the role of accounting not as a record of monetary interaction, but as that interaction itself. It is precisely a question of the distribution of agency: who shall make entries into the great ledger of human transaction and exchange? As the ledger pluralizes, who controls the cross-referencing, the gateways between newly dispersed accounts?

Keywords:   money, recordkeeping, accounting, writing, interaction, agency

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