Austrians are not on the side of government enforcement of a gold standard outside of basic contract enforcement. As Gary North puts it, “whenever governments enter the money business, the public should expect monkey business.” The government must relinquish itself from all monetary control as such inevitably leads to indirect public-debt monetization, perpetual inflation, the boom-and-bust business cycle, and banking-sector cartelization. The free market — meaning the decentralized actions of millions — must dictate how currency develops to prevent the mentioned abuses.
In short, the Austrian position is that people can use whatever commodity they desire as money. However, an archaic system of multiple types of money (think chickens, cattle, eggs, butter, grains, cigarettes, pebbles, seashells, etc.) isn’t the best way to foster a dynamic and encompassing economy. This is why a universal good, such as gold or silver, ends up emerging as a widely accepted medium. Government interference or acquisition of this process distorts a once-democratic market process in favor of a coercive system that enriches a few at the expense of the general public. …
Opponents of the gold standard fail to understand several things: what money really is, the danger in state control over money, and how the market process is capable of creating a sustainable monetary system.