The Economist – Special Reports (May 20, 2023): The fight over payments systems is hotting up around the world. There may be surprising winners, says Arjun Ramani.
As payments systems go digital, they are changing global finance
The fight over payments systems is hotting up around the world. There may be surprising winners, says Arjun Ramani
Payment is one of the most fundamental economic activities. To buy anything, you need something the seller wants. One option is barter, but that is beset by friction (what are the chances of having something your counterparty wants at any exact moment?). Early forms of money, from cowrie shells to beads to metal coins, offered a solution: they were always in demand to settle transactions.
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