This article was first published on RChain Cooperative - Medium
Greg Meredith and Isaac DeFrain discuss the future of currency.
Greg: I want to talk about a very odd idea. It will strike many people as strange. Hopefully, I can offer motivations for the idea and then move on to greater levels of technical depth. The idea is to think about currency (capital, money) in terms of programming concepts, in terms of the computation, money is untyped; it has a very specific property, which is its biggest strength in terms of its adoption. If you go back to the origins of the use of capital, this property of money is why it was adopted in the first place: you can convert money into anything and anything into money. That’s the idea.
It’s a lot more efficient to trade cowrie shells at the market and then later deliver bales of hay or barrels of fish or kegs of ale than it is to lug all that stuff to the trading depot. If things don’t go exactly as planned, you have to lug a whole bunch of it back, with some of it spoiling. There’s an efficiency that’s gained by doing the exchanges symbolically and then later mapping that exchange onto a delivery of goods and services.
That efficiency has extended into electronic and internet-based markets. But it ends up having consequences that we see every day, but because anyone hearing this podcast was born in a post-money era. It’s hard to imagine how it might be different.
If we come at it from the angle of computing or computation, things get a little clearer. This ability to convert anything into money and money back into anything corresponds to being able to set a price for something. There’s this ...
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