Digital Value Units, Electronic Commerce and International Trade: An Obituary for State Sovereignty Over National Markets


Shahriar Tavkol


VOL. XVII • Summer 1999 • NO. 4 (table of contents)

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This comment concentrates on the economic and commercial effects of e-money, primarily in the form of digital value units ("DVUs"). E- money, especially in the form of DVUs, will greatly affect the sovereignty of nations: the use of e-money will diminish a country's control of its own money supply and result in less control over national markets for currency. Part II(A) addresses the history of money, before and after the Internet's creation. Part II(B) discusses the economics of e-money and the interactivity between governments, national markets, and commerce. Part II(C) addresses the role of governments before and after the Internet's creation. This section defines the traditional notions of sovereignty. Sovereignty is also discussed in connection to the regulation of financial markets. Part II(D) sets forth the current policies and regulations which attempt to govern e-money transactions. Part III analyzes the particular effects of e-money's use by various jurisdictions in a global marketplace. E- money's affect on sovereignty is also discussed. Because current policies and regulations are inadequate and unresponsive to the global market's need, in light of the Internet and e-money, Part III(C) suggests a proposal for how governments should address the implications of e-money in this ever- changing Information Revolution. This comment concludes in Part IV that transgovernmentalism is the appropriate form of judicial foreign policy which empowers countries to deal with e-money. A system of transgovernmentalism will allow countries to preserve their sovereignty through cooperation among different branches of other governments with regulatory power in the hands of citizens and non-governmental organizations ("NGOs").

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