The properties of contemporary money

Isaiah Hull, Or Sattath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The properties of money commonly referenced in the economics literature were originally identified by Jevons and Menger in the late 1800s and were intended to describe physical currencies, such as commodity money, metallic coins, and paper bills. In the digital era, many non-physical currencies have either entered circulation or are under development, including demand deposits, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, central bank digital currencies, in-game currencies, and quantum money. These forms of money have novel properties that have not been studied extensively within the economics literature, but may ultimately determine which currencies prevail in the forthcoming era of currency competition. This review makes the first exhaustive attempt to identify and organize all properties of physical and digital forms of money. It examines both the economics and computer science literatures and categorizes properties within an expanded version of the canonical Jevons–Menger framework.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Surveys
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023


  • central bank digital currency
  • cryptocurrencies
  • electronic payments
  • properties of money
  • quantum money

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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