All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization How much money exists in the world? Strangely enough, there are multiple answers to this question, and the amount of money that exists changes depending on how we define it. The more abstract definition of money we use, the higher the number is. In this data visualization of the world’s total money supply, we wanted to not only compare the different definitions of money, but to also show powerful context for this information. That’s why we’ve also added in recognizable benchmarks such as the wealth of the richest people in the world, the market capitalizations of the largest publicly-traded companies, the value of all stock markets, and the total of all global debt. The end result is a hierarchy of information that ranges from some of the smallest markets (Bitcoin = $5 billion, Silver above-ground stock = $14 billion) to the world’s largest markets (Derivatives on a notional contract basis = somewhere in the range of $630 trillion to $1.2 quadrillion). In between those benchmarks is the total of the world’s money, depending on how it is defined. This includes the global supply of all coinage and banknotes ($5 trillion), the above-ground gold supply ($7.8 trillion), the narrow money supply ($28.6 trillion), and the broad money supply ($80.9 trillion). All figures are in the equivalent of US dollars.
If all cash money will be replaced with crypto currency, and even if Central Bank lose its clearinghouse monopoly and bitcoin is spread everywhere, the CB can still exert itself over the economy because it issues the one special asset that defines the unit of account: reserves. Central Bank monetary policy can still exist in a world without central bank money.
While bitcoin could one day shut down most of the roles that the Central Bank plays, the monetary policy will most probably stay intact. The reason for this is that the no matter what happens to all its other functions, the Central Bank will continue to define the economy’s unit of account.
Small minorities of transactions are made with bitcoin so far. Most of these transactions are rarely priced in terms of bitcoin. Rather, a merchant’s website typically display prices in terms of dollars, and then compute the amount of bitcoin that a customer must fork over by referring to the current dollar-to- bitcoin exchange rate. The dollar is very much the unit of account in the US, not bitcoin. In Europe even less.