What is Money?

What is Money?

Money is the most marketable or saleable good in an economy. It is a technology for storing and moving value across space and time. Think of it as a token of time, or a battery for storing human energy. No one really wants money, per se. What they want is what the money enables them to do. Money enables humans to trade their time and energy for the things they prefer, need, or want.

Money is the universal medium of exchange used by individuals to trade their time and energy with one another. When you work, you expend time and energy. That time and energy is measured, represented, in the money you earn. Therefore, money is signified time and energy. People work to earn money, using it to store their value over space and time, in order to trade it for the things they really need or want in the future.

Money has taken many forms over the years, from shells and beads to salt and cattle, and of course, silver and gold. Such monetary media was naturally selected over time because it was sufficiently scarce within a given culture in order to give it value, and (most importantly) it required a certain amount of work (time and energy spent) in order to find it, extract it, and thus earn it. Historically, sound monetary metals, such as gold or silver were used as money, due to their relative scarcity, fungibility, portability, durability, divisibility, soundness; resistance to counterfeiting or forgery, and their proportionally scarce distribution throughout the earth. 

Today’s money comes in the form of highly saleable government issued paper, plastic, or, perhaps more familiar, digitised fiat. Fiat is a term of Latin origin. In a nutshell, it means authoritative sanction; a decree, command or order.