Money – the greatest thing ever or the worst?

Everyone knows what money is.  It’s what you use to buy stuff. But have you ever really thought about what it really is? It is something that is 100% fake. It is 100% created in our minds.

Okay, the actual paper dollar and metal coinage is real but the fact that we assign value to it is nothing more than an agreed upon fantasy. Really, this one piece of paper has greater value than the next? Why? Because we agree it does.

Its not like the money is actually tied to anything like it used to. Before President Richard Nixon removed the US from the gold standard, at least an argument could be made that it was worth the gold used to back it.  But, even that was just a social construct that we all agreed upon.

The advent of trade and commerce is arguably the single thing that took us from warring tribes who fought for goods and into cooperative settlements that traded to enrich all parties. What started as a complex system of figuring out how many ears of corn it was worth for a cow, eventually developed into systems designed to store universal value.

Whether it was tally sticks, stone discs, shells, gold or printed paper – we have always just decided to agree that these intrinsically valueless items had some special value. It is really kinda like a mass delusion that we all believe.

Does that make it bad? Not at all. I would argue that it is the single greatest invention that led to us moving out of the caves and fields and into houses, cities and airplanes. Once we agreed to assign value to something, people competed to get “more of it.”

This drive to get more allowed us to move from jacks of all trade to specialists and experts. Now, we could assign a value to carpentry and relate that to the value of baking etc. This marked the launch of capitalism and the accompanying specialization.

The advent of trade and commerce didn’t solve conflict but it offered a chance to negotiate instead of beat each other over the head to get what we wanted. Yes, we still fight each other to get what we want, but I believe the benefit outweighs the downside.

The reason I have been thinking about money is the rise of cryptocurrency in the public mindspace. There are more and more people dipping their toe in the bitcoin & ethereum markets even though it is a bit hard to understand.

The typical questions are, “What makes it real?” “Who is in charge of it?” “What happens when the government wants to shut it down?” “What about hackers?”

I’m not going to try to answer all those questions here other than to say, get thyself to YouTube and learn. I am invested in Ethereum and Bitcoin and firmly believe it is a good investment. The returns have been great since I started and my plan is to stay invested for at least a couple years and then evaluate.

Note: I am not going to say, “sell everything you have and jump in for a great ride on Ethereum!” Rather, I am going to say that if you can redirect a few dollars that you would have otherwise spent and can live without, it is worth giving it a try. No, there are a not of places that will take it as payment right now, but that is not my plan. My plan is to use it as an investment only right now.

I use Coinbase to purchase my Ethereum (the one I prefer) and Bitcoin. If you use this link, you get a FREE $10 in Bitcoin for investing $100.

What is your take? Have you played in the cryptocurrency arena? What is your story?

by Chris Doelle