The concept of money has been proven to be difficult to grasp for most everyday consumers. In fact, we have no idea how money came to be to begin with, although one could argue the concept of “money” is older than even language itself. Have we been using money incorrectly all these years, and if so, what can we do to adapt?
Money Is a Form of Communicating Value
As a species, humans are quite unique in their own way. While every living creature on earth has a way of communicating with similar creatures, us humans have different levels of communication. Most of these levels are invisible to the naked eye, as we use body language, mannerisms, and even the way we dress to communicate on a subconscious level.
But there is another way of communicating we use on a daily basis, yet hardly anyone ever seems to notice it. The concept of money is a way of communication, and should be seen as a linguistic construct. There is very little focus on the technological aspect of money, even though society has been using it for as long as we can remember.
To be more precise, the most ancient writings to be found to date, depict a bookkeeping system. Our ancestors, who had yet to master verbal communication properly – other than grunts and screams – were using a form of money. Over the years, the entire concept of money has undergone many changes, yet it has always been used in the same way.
What is really baffling is how the concept of money is not even part of the education system in most countries. Children and adults use money on a daily basis, yet hardly ever question why they are using it, or how our society came to be so reliant on this mystical concept. Over the past few years, children have started to ask more and more questions about money, yet parents can’t give them a proper answer.
Discussing money is something the human race is not accustomed to, nor do we want to be. Human nature allows us to avoid topics of conversation we are not comfortable with and money is at the top of that list. We just use money “because it’s what we have been taught”. But who is doing the teaching? Or are we just a herd following guidelines from centuries ago that are no longer applicable today?
Using Money Without Understanding It
In the Western world, keeping money safely stored in a bank account has become the norm. At the same time, very few people realize there is no such thing as keeping money in a bank unless it is deposited in a storage box and locked away in a safe. Everyone with a bank account has loaned money in the bank, which grants us the grand sum of ‘0’ interest over time. However, when we loan money from the bank, we have to pay interest rates of 20% and more within a certain timeframe.
Consumers have no control over their money unless the bank provides a graphical interface to do so. Relying on these centralized authorities removes any form of financial freedom, despite so many customers craving exactly that. Bitcoin may be the answer to this problem although the general public is afraid of its potential.
Or, to be more precise, everyday consumers afraid of Bitcoin and waiting to regard how everybody else will start using it before they themselves do. As soon as Bitcoin gains mainstream attention – which is only a matter of time – there will not be sufficient bitcoins in circulation, at the current price at least.
There are a lot of people waiting until banks start exploring blockchain technology and Bitcoin. However, these are not necessarily a ‘means to an end’, as financial institutions will create a half-assed copy of these ideas. Bitcoin is the only viable peer-to-peer monetary concept in existence today, and banks will not be able to trump this idea.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Freepik
Also published on Medium.