How make money ?
Special exhibition at the Bundesbank Money Museum
Geldmuseum der Deutschen Bundesbank
60431 Frankfurt am Main
Creating money means having power. For this reason alone, the issue of money has always been a matter for the state. After all, a functioning monetary system is of fundamental importance to government, society and the economy. Symbols of state power usually appear as motifs on banknotes and coins precisely for this reason. However, wherever governments have failed to maintain a functioning system of cash transactions or keep the value of money stable, people have resorted to emergency money or ersatz coins, such as cigarettes.
But not only in times of crisis, individuals, businesses or municipalities have acted as creators of money. For a long time, issuing paper money has been a problem for private banks in Europe. In other parts of the world, such as the South Sea, the concept of a state-controlled monetary system was completely unknown.
Today, money is created and supervised by the government as a public good. This government task is usually performed by a country’s central bank. For Germany, this is the Bundesbank. It cooperates with the other central banks of the euro area countries and the European Central Bank to oversee the monetary system and protect the value of the currency.
Life is becoming more and more digital – a development to which the monetary system is by no means immune. New digital forms of money, known as crypto-assets, have already emerged. This money is being created by individuals and businesses and more and more across national borders. The question now is not only whether the money will continue to be physical in the future, but also who will decide what the money is until then?
The special exhibition was created by the Money Museum together with the Numismatic Collection of the Deutsche Bundesbank. The collection with a refined possession of over 90,000 coins and approximately 260,000 banknotes worldwide is one of the most important of its kind.