AOCS & Liberty Dollar Compared

As many reading this may quickly point out, the Liberty Dollar is not gone.  It is dormant, possibly hibernating, patiently awaiting its day in court.  I would like to take a moment to point out a few similarities (and significant differences) that will help the American Open Currency Standard from attracting a similar fate.

AOCS Approved medallions are not dollars.  Though many struggle to actually define a dollar (is it a unit of measure, a weight in Spanish Silver, or something else?), the Federal Government likes to think they own the word, and that creating something superior and calling it a dollar is against the law.  Liberty Dollars were denominated in “Dollars”, and as such, were confused from time to time by those unfamiliar with the alternative currency system; after all, Liberty Dollars are  not issued by the Federal Reserve.  While AOCS Approved medallions have no specific brand or denomination, they are commonly referred to as “barter bucks” or “trade” in the MarketPlace.  Let us make clear that an ounce of AOCS Approved Silver is NOT a dollar, “coin”, “legal tender” or “current money”.  Why would anyone want to be associated with those ugly words, anyway?

AOCS Approved medallions are unique.  Part of the confusion may have been caused by the fact that Liberty Dollars look suspiciously a lot like coins issued at one time or another by the Federal Government.  Was the Liberty Dollar designed to be easily mistaken?  Each AOCS Approved medallion is designed specifically to avoid any confusion with existing coinage.

AOCS Approved medallions do not require you to “do the drop”. With the Liberty Dollar model, supporters were urged to spend Liberty Dollars nearly anywhere with a “90% acceptance rate”.  This was done not through education, but instead by dropping a heavy ounce of silver in a proprietor’s hand and offering little in the way of disclosure: that a Liberty Dollar (and any other limited use currency, for that matter) has advantages (and drawbacks) and can only be voluntarily exchanged when both parties are aware of the truth.  On the other hand, AOCS Approved medallions can be traded one to one for credit in any existing barter group, of which there are hundreds of thousands of participating Merchants across the US.  One of our Community Trade Coordinators in Colorado, Jeremy Trudell, makes a point of establishing relationships with other trade systems so that your AOCS Approved Silver can be easily and honestly traded for value across the country. A much similar and more expansive relationship has been established in the last year with the barter network known as Merchant Trade.

There are many other important differences between the systems that require mentioning, which will be done in an article I will publish in short order on the OpenCurrency website.  Rest assured that much consideration has been given to the Liberty Dollar, its strengths and weaknesses, and how the AOCS can slingshot past unnecessary turmoil by operating ethically and transparently.

I will note, however, for better or worse, I have a great deal of respect for the monumental contribution and sacrifice made by Liberty Dollar Founder and Monetary Architect Bernard von Nothaus.  Bernard has dedicated his life, fortune, and sacred honor to raising awareness of how money works through the Liberty Dollar over the past 11 years, and is surely the inspiration for what the American Open Currency Standard has become today.  In spite of his abrasive quirks, Bernard energized my passion for honest money, and I continue to appreciate his wisdom and dedication to the cause.  To that end, I will personally commission a von Nothaus medallion, and will donate all proceeds from its sale to Bernard’s legal defense fund.  Bernard: I wish you continued courage and the best of luck in your endeavors; thank you for lighting my torch of financial Liberty.