What is Money? por Robert Sadler:
There exists a certain amount of confusion today about what money truly is, how it originated and who should produce it (the government or private individuals). For this reason, it is useful to provide a brief summary of the origin or money and the differences between the various types of money. In this manner it will become clear that money should only be produced by the market.
The monetary use of a commodity is derived from its non-monetary use. When we consider how money comes into being (through indirect exchange) we know this must be the case ..
In the case of gold or silver, it is obvious that these commodities have a value independent of their monetary use. Gold has historically primarily been used as jewellery and today, like silver, it has many industrial uses that establish a non-monetary value.
It is clear now that paper money established by government fiat cannot have any non-monetary value. It is not a good (according to the definition by Menger) or a commodity that can be widely bought and sold. No man desires paper money for its own sake. It cannot satisfy any need of man .. It is arguably, an imaginary good, as described by Menger ..
.. the optimal money derives its value from its prior non-monetary use (i.e. that of being a valuable commodity). Paper money has no prior non-monetary use and thus derives its value from government legal tender laws. In other words, it has merely an imagined value. In free market, there would be no fiat paper money. Government has no place in the production of money. Free money protects the population from the costs of fractional reserve banking and stunts the growth of government. Furthermore, with free market gold money (or similar) inflation will be limited to the illicit activities of fractional reserve banks thus the length and depth of the business cycle will be greatly reduced.