For all those who think about the economy and the economy, 2017 was a worrying year, despite the boom. Many things that they thought were carved in stone turned out to be an illusion on closer inspection. This does not only unsettle the economic research institutes whose bosses live on giving advice on economic policy. It also unsettles the politicians. Many terms that Bitcoin Code until recently seemed clearly defined suddenly became questionable.
1. Until recently, we believed we knew what money is: A well-known unit of account that identifies a fixed asset and serves as a generally accepted medium of exchange. For the “general recognition” vouch for the states that created them – and the possibly independent central banks that control them. This is how the dollar, the euro and the yen, the Swiss franc and the truth about the Bitcoin Code the pound sterling work. But what is Bitcoin?
Of generally accepted, there can be no question at all. As a medium of exchange or arithmetic unit, the digital currency is not necessarily suitable because it is subject to enormous fluctuations and because you can not pay anything by any means. Neither a central bank, nor a state are in the game, Bitcoin is only overseen by its owners. Is that still money?
Somehow, because Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies certainly serve the storage of assets. So we no longer know whether a currency necessarily has to have Bitcoin Code all three properties. In a digital economy, maybe just one of these qualities is enough to be money? Or do you prefer the properties of gold?
2. Which brings us to the question of where inflation remains: From what economists have assumed so far, the cheap money that the European Central Bank is currently flooding the Bitcoin Code markets would lead to rising prices. It is not like that. Although wages are rising and manufacturing capacity is running out, there is almost no inflation. No trace, as if swallowed from the ground. There are a few explanations, but no solution.
It could be that digitization consumes inflation because you do not need machines and often only a few employees in software factories. Perhaps the monetary facts on onlinebetrug value remains stable because the classical industry invests more abroad than in the Federal Republic? Or is globalization responsible for allowing global corporations to produce where wages and thus prices are the lowest? “We do not know exactly.
But we fear that with the next downturn, the opposite, deflation, will occur. This paralysis of economic life would then have nothing to oppose the ECB.
3. So far we have had no serious doubts about what a company is. A company, it was supposed to be until 2017, is a legal and financial entity that wants to make a profit and has one or more businesses. Only: The most valuable companies in the world have almost no businesses. They define themselves through their customers. They are platforms: Google, Facebook, AirBnB and Uber do not have their own businesses, yet they are setting millions in motion – but they often have no labor relations with them.
Corporations like Apple have no manufacturing, but they sell millions of cell phones and computers. AirBnB does not own a single apartment, yet it is one of the largest lodging companies in the world. The new companies are more like networks than companies. That’s why they are hard to get hold of, barely taxed and often do not even bring to court. Businesses have always been social networks, but most recently, social networks are the best companies.
4. This leads to the fourth uncertainty: what is competition? So far, the thing was clear: the more companies in a market, and the lower their influence on the price, the better for the customer. Or: the less large vendors dominate a market (for example, in retail or in telecommunications), the more murderous the competition between them, the better for the price. It was also clear: collusion between the manufacturers are anti-competitive and therefore prohibited. Now that’s different.
The new platform companies strive for monopoly, for the benefit of the customers, who get a nearly complete overview of all offers and prices. The competition supervisor shrugs helplessly and asks: Was Karl Marx right?
5. And finally: What is a workplace? For the first time, the gig economy reached significant proportions in the past year. It is estimated that less than one percent of work in Germany is done by a self-employed person on a case-by-case basis, but the rates of increase are enormous: in the gig economy