经济学人GRE双语阅读 自由兑换无中生钱的比特币

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GRE阅读备考重在对于原版专业读物的阅读量积累。阅读眼界不够开阔,面对陌生话题的文章就容易出现各种水土不服。本文为大家每日更新精选GRE原版阅读资料。

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经济学人,GRE双语阅读,

  Free exchange——Money from nothing

  自由兑换:无中生钱
 


  Chronic deflation may keep Bitcoin from displacing its fiat rivals

  慢性通缩的比特币可能无法取代其法定对手

  BITCOIN, to its most ardent fans, is more than a useful way to pay for drugs.

  比特币对其铁粉来说可不仅仅只能用来买违禁药品,

  It is also a technological marvel that could disrupt much of the consumer-finance industry.

  它是一个可以搅扰大多数消费金融业务的技术奇迹。

  But is it money?

  但是,它就是货币吗?

  The Bitcoin economy keeps growing, despite the periodic disappearance of large quantities of currency in hacker heists.

  尽管大量比特币在黑客抢劫案中周期性消失,其经济却仍保持增长。

  The total value of Bitcoins in circulation has risen to $7.9 billion, from just $490m a year ago,

  比起一年前的4.9亿美元,比特币如今的流通总价值已上升至79亿美元,

  while daily transaction volume is up by almost 60%.

  日交易量更是增长了近60%。

  If Bitcoin aspires to match dollars and euros for money-ness,

  但如果比特币想成为与美元和欧元一般的货币,

  it will need to be more than just a Mastercard for nerds.

  它可不能仅仅满足于只是充当网络玩家手中的万事达卡。

  Economists reckon money is anything that serves three main functions.

  经济学家认为,货币有三个主要功能。

  It must be a medium of exchange, which can reliably be swapped for goods and services.

  首先,它必须是一种值得信赖的、可用于交换商品和服务的交换媒介;

  It should be a stable store of value,

  其次,应当是稳定的储值手段,

  enabling users to tuck some away and come back later to find its purchasing power more or less intact.

  使用者们将部分货币储存起来,其购买力在之后一段时间内大体保持不变;

  And it should function as a unit of account:

  最后,它应该能充当计价单位,

  a statistical yardstick against which value in an economy is measured.

  用一个基准统计尺度衡量经济体的价值。

  The American dollar meets all three conditions.

  美元符合上述这三个条件,

  Bitcoin has some way to go.

  比特币则任重而道远。

  Bitcoin does best as a medium of exchange, thanks to its clever technical design.

  比特币的最擅长的交换媒介功能要归功于其巧妙的技术设计。

  Users can quickly move holdings around anywhere in the world.

  使用者可以在世界各处快速转移持有的比特币。

  Rather than relying on central clearing-houses,

  相较于传统货币依赖于中央清算机构,

  verification of transactions is done by miners, who are compensated for their work with newly created Bitcoin.

  比特币的交易验证是由用新铸造的比特币作为其工作补偿的矿工来完成的。

  The new money they create adds imperceptibly to Bitcoin inflation,

  矿工铸造的新钱给比特币带来小到可以忽略不计的通货膨胀,

  spreading the cost of their work over all users.

  其工作成本已分摊到所有使用者身上。

  This elegant system makes Bitcoin cheap to use.

  比特币精妙的系统降低了它的使用成本。

  Because banks are not needed to confirm legitimate purchases, transaction fees are low.

  因为不需要银行确认其法定购买力,比特币交易费用十分低廉。

  Bitcoin's near-anonymity has also helped drive acceptance among those who would prefer to keep their transactions secret,

  此外,比特币近乎匿名性的特点对那些希望保护交易隐私的人而言无疑具有吸引力,

  whether drug-dealers or money-launderers.

  比如毒贩子或洗钱者。

  The combination of functionality and user interest means that people are finding it easier to swap coins for both goods and services and for other currencies.

  比特币将系统功能性和使用者兴趣融合在一起,人们用它换取商品和服务乃至兑换其他货币变得更加便捷。

  This rising credibility as a medium of exchange supports Bitcoin values.

  这些都提高了其作为交换媒介的信誉度,从而支撑起比特币的价值。

  Yet Bitcoin is not exactly a stable store of value.

  然而,严格来讲,比特币不是一种稳定的储值手段。

  It is technically equipped to do the job:

  它在技术上所能进行的工作是:

  coins saved in an encrypted wallet on a hard drive can be retrieved for later use in purchases.

  能保证存储在硬盘上的加密钱包在有购买需求时随取随附,

  But the currency's worth is prone to wild gyrations.

  但其币值容易发生剧烈的波动。

  Massive Bitcoin heists, like the recent plunder of roughly 6% of outstanding Bitcoins from the Mt Gox exchange,

  Mt GOX交易所最近爆出其账户上约6%比特币失窃,

  reduce confidence in the currency.

  诸如此类的大量比特币失窃案大大降低了人们对比特币的信心。

  Bitcoin prices dropped by 30% against the dollar in February due in part to the Mt Gox news.

  比特币对美元的价格在二月份下跌30%,部分原因便是GOX公司的这则消息。

  In more bullish moments, interest has attracted speculators, sending values soaring—at least temporarily.

  在其牛市氛围中,巨额利益吸引了投机者,令他们推高比特币价格,至少暂时如此。

  Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin brothers known mainly for their early quasi-interest in Facebook,

  因早期与脸书的恩怨而出名的卡梅伦和泰勒温克莱沃斯俩兄弟最近宣布,

  recently announced plans to launch a Bitcoin tracking fund,

  他们计划推出一个比特币追踪基金,

  to make it easier for amateur investors to take a punt on the technology.

  以使业余投资者更容易赌上一把。

  Volatile values could prevent Bitcoin from ever establishing itself as a medium of account.

  不稳定的价格可能妨碍比特币成为记账单位。

  Even the few retailers who accept Bitcoin use other currencies as their principal accounting unit.

  即使少数几个接受比特币的零售商也是在使用其他货币作为基本记账单位。

  Prices are given in a prominent currency and the Bitcoin price fluctuates automatically with changes in the crypto-money's exchange rate.

  比特币的价格由主权货币给出,且随着加密货币的汇率变化自动波动。

  Similarly, most Bitcoin owners work in jobs with wages paid in traditional currencies.

  同样,大多数比特币持有者都是在用传统货币支付工资的职位上工作。

  So long as Bitcoin buyers and sellers think in euros or dollars it will fall short of money status.

  只要比特币的买卖双方认同用欧元或美元来买卖比特币,比特币的货币地位会被削弱。

  And until Bitcoin values are less volatile relative to the currencies that now dominate real economies,

  除非比特币的价值趋于稳定,能与当前实体经济中的主导货币相媲美,

  users are unlikely to change their monetary frame of reference.

  否则使用者们不大可能改变他们的货币参考框架。

  That may be for the best, given another Bitcoin quirk.

  考虑到比特币的另一则警示,现在的情形可能算是最好的结果。

  The currency's money supply will eventually be capped at 21m units.

  比特币的最大货币供应量为2100万个。

  To Bitcoin's libertarian disciples, that is a neat way to preclude the inflationary central-bank meddling to which most currencies are prone.

  对其自由主义的信徒们而言,这能巧妙地防止比特币如大多数货币般面临央行插手其中导致通胀。

  Yet modern central banks favour low but positive inflation for good reason.

  然而,出于某些理由,现代央行青睐于积极的低通胀。

  In the real world wages are sticky: firms find it difficult to cut their employees' pay.

  现实世界中,企业很难降低其雇员的薪酬,

  A modicum of inflation GREases the system by,

  工人的工资是刚性的,

  in effect, cutting the wages of workers whose pay cheques fail to keep pace with inflation.

  低通胀实际上削减了那些未能与通胀保持同步的工人们的工资,于整个体系有益。

  If the money supply grows too slowly, then prices fall and workers with sticky wages become more costly.

  如果货币供给增长过慢,价格会随之下降,工人的黏性工资成本变得更加昂贵,

  Unemployment tends to rise as a result.

  结果便是失业率趋于上升。

  If employed workers hoard cash in expectation of further price reductions, the downturn gathers momentum.

  如果雇用的工人预期价格下跌而囤积现金,经济衰退步伐将加快。

  Bitcoin's money supply is still growing;

  比特币的货币供应量仍在增长,

  its miners are just over halfway to producing the total possible number.

  它的矿工们挖出的比特币刚刚超过其可能总量的一半。

  New coins will be minted until around 2030.

  新的比特币的铸造将到2030年前后达到峰值。

  Miners may then introduce transaction fees as compensation for their critical verification work.

  此后,矿工可能用交易费用作为其关键性认证工作的补偿。

  More worryingly, deflation is already a reality.

  更令人担忧的是,通货紧缩已经是个既成事实。

  Soaring demand for the currency is partly responsible for boosting its price.

  比特币价格高涨部分源于其需求飙升。

  But the knowledge that supply is ultimately finite is also a factor.

  但公众了解比特币的最终供给量有限也是原因之一。

  Digital fetters

  数字枷锁

  That other currencies remain the medium of account has so far been the Bitcoin economy's saving grace.

  比特币经济至今仍然可取在于其他货币仍在充当记账单位。

  If Bitcoin matured into a complete currency, with large numbers of workers using it as their medium of account,

  如果比特币进化为完全意义上的货币,随着大批工人将其作为记账单位,

  then its inflexibility could bring economic havoc.

  它灵活性的缺乏可能导致经济灾难。

  Money-supply shocks, like the disappearance of Mt Gox, could set off a systemic collapse.

  就如Mt GOX消失之类的事件,货币供应遭到冲击,直接引发系统性崩溃。

  Given a loss of faith in exchanges, users might withdraw their coins in a panic, leading to a dangerous decline in transaction volume.

  在信任的交易所中受到损失,使用者可能出于恐慌撤回他们的比特币,致使交易量降至危险值。

  Such hoarding could threaten Bitcoin's status as a medium of exchange, leading to its complete demise as a currency.

  这威胁到比特币作为交换媒介的地位,直接导致作为货币的比特币完全消亡。

  Reputable exchanges with large institutional holdings could help stem such panics by advertising a willingness to sell their Bitcoins to meet liquidity demand.

  大型机构持有的信誉良好的交易所向公众表示愿意出售比特币以满足流动性需求,有助于遏制这种恐慌。

  Yet because Bitcoin reserves are finite, users may not find the promise credible.

  然而,由于比特币的储量是有限的,使用者可能认为这种承诺不可信。

  By contrast, central banks with the inexhaustible resources of the printing press face no such inconvenient constraints.

  与此相反,央行的印钞机可是取之不尽、用之不竭,没有这般束手束脚。

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