As the story goes, pirates would bite into pure gold coins in order to evaluate their quality, thus creating the original ‘bit coin.’ The new payment system, Bitcoin, which relies entirely on digital money, wasn’t created however, until 2008. The speakers at last night’s Atlas Network event “The Future of Money: Bitcoin, the Gold Standard and Free Banking” included George Mason University Professor Lawrence White, Daniel Oliver from the Committee for Monetary Research Education and Francis Pouliot from the Bitcoin Foundation Canada. The event was part of Atlas Network’s Sound Money Project. During the event, the speakers discussed Bitcoin and more traditional monetary solutions such as the Gold Standard and Free Banking as alternatives to the current system. Pouliot said, "Bitcoin allows us to conceive of alternatives to the monetary system." This discussion of alternatives is vital, because the Fed has acted irresponsibly. Even though the financial crisis has subsided, the main problems have not yet been addressed. There must be smart monetary reforms if we hope to avoid a more severe recession and future financial crises. Main Street and Wall Street alike must demand that the current system be fixed sooner rather than later lest we fall off of the monetary cliff. To learn more about Atlas Network’s event series, click here.