Mark W. Balling
Stable Coins - the Mite of Modernity
Not a misprint of 'might', not a tiny arthropod....Did any biblical scholars pick up on this? Of course! The widow's mite mentioned in the gospel of Mark, chapter 12: But a poor widow put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, this poor woman has put more into the treasury than all the others" (NIV). How could I (dare I?), and why would I connect theology in with crypto-numismatics? Simply stated: the stable coin is one of the most ancient stores of "temporary" wealth known to man. This is not a new concept "coined" by the slickest speakers on the crypto stage. (Those mites are worth quite a bit nowadays due to their rarity - more on that later). The fact is that whether we're transferring our "earned wealth" locked in the form of paper cash, checking and savings accounts, lady liberties, or a talent of gold - that wealth, or "worth", has satisfied the objective sought after by two entities - a product for an agreed upon unit-of-worth. I'm not referring to the word "worth" in the sometimes pejorative sense of someone's "net worth". I think of a unit of worth as a calorie - a unit of energy stored up in our bodies, ready to be burned! If you've completed a task, you're earned a Uw: unit of worth. If you've consumed a donut, you've "earned" a calorie (or more), if you've captured the electrons transferred through the friction of two moving parts, you've "earned" a V - volt. Much like a volt can be stored up in a battery, and a calorie in our fat, our Uw's (my own abbreviation which you'll run across again), can be stored up in more ways today than ever imagined possible.
Now, enter the digital coin decade of the 20-teens. Let's just assume for this article's purpose that our mites of yester-millenia are now worth 100 cents given the rate of inflation. We have a mite tied to the Uw of a single USD. 'Hard to find an individual good valued at a buck these days, so our Uw is relatively analogous to our beloved widow of Mark chapter 12. This modern mite, or crypto-mite, has taken the form of the stable coin - a digital stable coin to be precise. Inasmuch that a mite will hold the value of the agreed-upon Uw measured against 1 USD, our stable coin begins it's life as an agreed-upon Uw measured against one United States dollar. SIMPLE, PERFECT, right! [Side story]: I gave a guy a dollar once apologetically thinking I should give more, and he replied, "Hey man, a buck's a buck!" Until it's 'worth only a few cents'. That's a dystopian thought, right? Stay with me, I'm not writing to instill fear, or to inspire feelings of lugubriousness. I'm writing to implant hope into our endless story of inflation!
Of course the dollar will slip! It happens each and every year. But never fear, we live in an enlightened age of digital decentralized currency - fully tender-able, when crypto coins are weened off of the dollar, and evolved into a trusted, guaranteed, 100% Ethereum backed currency - a cryptocurrency in the form of a digital stable coin transferred from smart wallet to smart watch, phone, tablet, drive, cloud, etc..
If our biblical figure donated those same 2 mite-coins in 2019, the beneficiary would be $2 million dollars all the richer from the pure numismatic perspective (another subject). Let's just hope rich and poor will continue their own humble benevolence well into our third millennium.
For the time being, I can envision a (near) future when we transfer a ROKS stable coin, for example, from payer to payee. A digital coin, which by then will have proven itself as a fully independent, and trustworthy Uw - more than a few mites, a modern "shekel" of bronze.