Content Commercial Bank Money What’s the difference between a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and fiat money? Such runs on the bank, as they were called, were a frequent occurrence in 18th and 19th century America, when many states did a poor job of monitoring the banks that they chartered. Eventually, starting in 1861, the federal government started issuing its own notes, that were backed by government bonds held at the United States Treasury. The increased prevalence of bubbles is because fiat currencies have a virtually unlimited supply, which means that quantitative easing is an option for governments. While possibly providing stimulus.