Since this blog is going to be all about e-gold, a natural place to start is with a succinct definition of e-gold. I promise to offer a succinct definition... but I am not going to stop with the succinct version.
A proper exegesis of e-gold requires some elaboration. [I like that word exegesis. It will be a struggle not to overuse it. I'd love to hear Eddie Izzard ad lib with "exegesis". I'm also fond of "explication".] e-gold entails subtleties, with ramifications that I regard as profound and important. For example, I think the concept of "base money" is interesting and would be a useful construct for anyone with an interest in how financial systems work. In discussing e-gold, the idea of base money is a building block that will facilitate precise discussion of multiple topics ranging from efficiencies that mainstream banks will eventually realize via an embrace of e-gold to the holy grail of a monetary system that is automatically self-regulating vis-a-vis quantitative money supply.
If a person already has a good grasp of monetary principles - the nuts and bolts of central banks, banking in general - it is relatively simple to describe how e-gold is similar to and in what respects it differs from contemporary and historic models. Most people, however, have a pretty vague sense of what US dollars are or how the Fed works. Stick with the e-gold blog and I believe you will also gain a better grasp of dollars, dalasi, rubles and the various other legacy brands of money.
I anticipate a number of entries will be devoted to fleshing out monetary jargon, the terms of art that have specific meaning and connotation in a monetary theory context. Often it will be possible to hyperlink to existing definitions [for instance the reference to "indirect exchange" below], but at times the terminology will need to be developed or extended in an e-gold specific context [e.g., "primary dealer"].
To proceed (with haiku-like brevity):
e-gold is a service that mobilizes the value of gold for payments via the Internet.
Preview of a more fully elaborated definition:
e-gold is a medium of indirect exchange, constituting a liability of e-gold Ltd., denominated in weight units and backed 100% by the net gold content of physical bullion held in appropriate custodial arrangements. e-gold is also a book entry settlement platform directly accessed by end users, and therefore usable as a payment mechanism. e-gold is designed to serve as the base money of and settlement platform for an alternative global currency that can be variously referred to as e-gold or AUG.
Someone recently told me that it confuses people when I refer to a quantity of e-gold as a liability. Along this line, I've encountered gold bugs fond of reciting that gold is an asset that is no one's liability... and going on to draw the non sequiturial inference that money based on gold isn't anyone's liability either?! Clarity on the liability topic matters and we should talk about it.