MONEY has evolved from shells, rocks, sheep, cows, coins and paper to plastics. What is next big change? We will all be spending DIGITAL money.
Next time you take 5 Euro or 5$ from your pocket to pay for coffee, think about the fact that you are holding one of the oldest and most important inventions of human kind – a banknote.
Relatively quickly after humans learned benefits of living in groups, instead of panda isolation, they discovered the way to value what they have – and to make others pay for it. We were selling cattle and wheat until we understood that this kind of money is too heavy to be carried around in wallets, and therefore new currency was introduced – coins. But after a while, we learned that coins are also heavy, and they have evolved into paper money that we all use today.
But still, paper is just a replacement for metal. Of course, at this point, coins were not used any more, but we still were carrying around “paper gold” until 1971, when Richard Nixon abolished golden standard in USA. “Divorced” from gold, paper money become a sort of evaluation system. This evaluation comes from the hypothesis that it still represents something valuable and precious, and that it represents value by itself. Everyone agrees that when you enter Starbucks with a 5$ coins, you can by coffee for it.
“Divorced” from gold, paper money become a sort of evaluation system.”
Today, it is rare that someone will come into store with a bigger bill than 50Euro or local equivalent of money. In most cases, we pay with our credit card, gift card or via mobile phone cashless transfer. And that is one of the ways money has changed. It becomes more and more abstract. It’s now numbers on our accounts or on credit card statements. It is a series of digital statements led by bank, payment processors or financial startups.
Money becomes more complex from day to day. Startup companies offer dozens of new financial schemes and payment methods. But still, Silicon Valley, that has fundamentally changed the World, did not still change money that radically. What is changed is the way of spending it. Paypal, Netteller, Square, Stripe, Venmo – are all applications built on old technologies. Same as the paper money needed to be covered in gold, most of these applications need access to bank account or credit card of the user.
The only real change in paradigm of money, that we have witnessed in the Internet era, did not came from Palo Alto but from the other side of the world. Bitcoin, that was conceived in the mind of the engineer that goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, is cryptographically maintained currency, whose value is created on the computers and not by state governments. Theoretically, it is far more secure currency from the credit card. If you have used Bitcoin to buy something in Target, and if Target was hacked later (as it was) you, the user, will not suffer any consequences. It is like programed cash.
But it is not a concept that can be embraced by most of the people, which was its biggest limitation. It will overcome this obstacle or not. It is sure that the money will continue to evolve. If money represents value, and the value is reflection of our need and wish, then money is simply reflection of ourselves.
And it is sure that it will continue to change even while you read this text!
New crypto currencySwisscoin emerged few months ago, and it is a right moment for you to hop on this train, in case you missed Bitcoin.
What are you waiting for?