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What is money & what is debt?

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Films - WE THE ECONOMY. Bitcoin is Gamification. Pocket: Log In. Understanding "Gold Farming" and Real-Money Trading as the Intersection of Real and Virtual Economies | Heeks | Journal For Virtual Worlds Research. The PDF file you selected should load here if your Web browser has a PDF reader plug-in installed (for example, a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader). If you would like more information about how to print, save, and work with PDFs, Highwire Press provides a helpful Frequently Asked Questions about PDFs. Alternatively, you can download the PDF file directly to your computer, from where it can be opened using a PDF reader. To download the PDF, click the Download link above.

Fullscreen Fullscreen Off This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: Money & Debt: Crash Course World History 202. The History of Money. Share Posted 10.26.96 NOVA What is money? By definition, it's something of value. But over the last 10,000 years, the material form that money has taken has changed considerably—from cattle and cowrie shells to today's electronic currency. Here, get an overview of the history of money. Today we value gold Kruggerands and paper Franklins, but cattle and cowrie shells have also served as currency. Editor's Note: The dates below mark the approximate start of use. In the Beginning: Barter Barter is the exchange of resources or services for mutual advantage, and the practice likely dates back tens of thousands of years, perhaps even to the dawn of modern humans. 9000 - 6000 B.C.: Cattle Cattle, which throughout history and across the globe have included not only cows but also sheep, camels, and other livestock, are the first and oldest form of money. 1200 B.C.: Cowrie Shells 1000 B.C.: First Metal Money and Coins 500 B.C.: Modern Coinage 118 B.C.: Leather Money A.D. 800 - 900: The Nose 1500: Potlach.

Why do we value gold? Image copyright British Museum Mankind's attitude to gold is bizarre. Chemically, it is uninteresting - it barely reacts with any other element. Yet, of all the 118 elements in the periodic table, gold is the one we humans have always tended to choose to use as currency. Why? Why not osmium or chromium, or helium, say - or maybe seaborgium? I'm not the first to ask the question, but I like to think I'm asking it in one of the most compelling locations possible - the extraordinary exhibition of pre-Columbian gold artefacts at the British Museum? That's where I meet Andrea Sella, a professor of chemistry at University College London, beside an exquisite breastplate of pure beaten gold.

He pulls out a copy of the periodic table. Image copyright Thinkstock "Some elements are pretty easy to dismiss," he tells me, gesturing to the right-hand side of the table. "Here you've got the noble gases and the halogens. "And then there's the fact that they are colourless. Take iron. So, what's left? Are Bitcoins and Unusual Hats the Future of Currency? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios. Why Everybody Who Doesn’t Hate Bitcoin Loves It: Full Transcript. This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Why Everybody Who Doesn’t Hate Bitcoin Loves It.” [MUSIC: Greg Ruby Quartet, “Swing for Dudley” (from Look Both Ways)] Stephen J. DUBNER: Hey, podcast listeners. We made the episode you’re about to hear because you asked for it. MEDIA CLIP: What is Bitcoin? MEDIA CLIP: Bitcoin. MEDIA CLIP: Uhh, Bitcoins. MEDIA CLIP: What exactly is a Bitcoin?

MEDIA CLIP: Do you know what this is? MEDIA CLIP: I don’t know that it involves the Internet, so that’s cool. DUBNER: All right, so what is Bitcoin? MEDIA CLIP: The value of Bitcoin skyrocketed to a new record of $900 today. DUBNER: You’ve heard that Bitcoin was launched in 2009 after a white paper on the topic was published a year earlier,by a secretive person, or perhaps group of people, who go by the name Satoshi Nakamoto – and who, according to Newsweek, in the latest attempt to expose the brains behind Bitcoin, may or may not be a 64-year-old Japanese-American man living in Los Angeles County. California Passes Bill to Legalize Complementary Currencies. Top image credit: Authored by Chris Tittle A community without dollars is not a community without wealth – this basic insight lies at the heart of the community resilience movement. With income and wealth inequality still on the rise in our “post-recession” economy, communities are finding creative ways to meet their needs and maintain social ties through community-created forms of exchange, or complementary currencies.

And, as with most social innovations, existing legal and regulatory systems take some time to catch up. With the recent passage of the California Alternative Currencies Act, AB 129, California has taken a significant step toward fostering more just and resilient local economies. Driven both by economic necessity and innovations in technology, communities across California and across the world are creating their own means of exchange that support economic resilience and social cohesion in the face of rapidly changing economies.

Why we need this bill. Bitcoin logic. To understand Bitcoin, one must first understand what its function is. Bitcoin, technophilic headline-grabber of contemporary times, is a cryptocurrency. What this means is not that the transactions are encrypted, but the method by which the units of currency exist is guaranteed by cryptography. Bitcoins are just a series of numbers, and no one runs Bitcoin. The only reason that I own Bitcoin #101 rather than you is because the transaction log says that you gave it to me, and I haven’t given it to anyone else yet. It is this log, enclosed in what is called the ‘blockchain,’ that is guaranteed by cryptography.

To keep anyone from messing with the log, computers all around the world are building the blockchain, in a processed ‘mining’ (which is frankly a misnomer and a bit confusing). How many computers are working on the mining process? This begs the pointed question: isn’t this a huge waste of resources? But this neglects an important fact. Bitcoin Explained. Bitcoin is ludicrous, but it tells us something important about the nature of money.

There was a great piece in the satirical news source The Onion a few years ago in which it “reported” that Fed chairman Ben Bernanke experienced a moment of existential panic during a congressional hearing as he paused, shook his head, and said, “It’s just an illusion . . . Just look at it: meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless.” Sayeth the Onion headline: “U.S. Economy Grinds to Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion.” It's all just an illusion, man. Which brings us to bitcoin. Bitcoin really is a tiny market in the scheme of things, and its recent gyrations mean that the dollar, euro and yen have nothing to fear from the competition. We can all agree that the dollar bills in my wallet are money, as are the quarters and dimes in the jar on my dresser.

The common thread here is that money has almost nothing to do with physical form. Rather, what makes money money is what you can do with it. Bitcoin exacerbates that problem. Bitcoin Fever: Using Digital Currency to Understand the Nature of Money. Overview | What are bitcoins, and why are people buying them? What makes currency valuable?

In this lesson, students explore the fundamental characteristics of currency by reading and researching about the bitcoin, the experimental and upstart digital commodity that has grabbed the attention of speculators, investors, bankers and regulators around the world. Materials | Computers with Internet access Warm-Up | Ask students to watch the above video about the bitcoin asking the question: What makes money — money? Related | In his Op-Ed article “Much Ado About Bitcoin,” Adrian Chen, a journalist who helped bring the bitcoin mainstream attention, describes the basic premises of the digital currency: Bitcoin is built on a weird mix of the most old-fashioned kind of speculative greed, bolstered by a contemporary utopian cyberlibertarian ideology.

Background Vocabulary | Read the entire article with your class, then answer the questions below. Questions | For discussion and reading comprehension: Bitcoins and Tax Liability. Bitcoins are all the rage lately. Proponents claim the online currency is safer than old fashioned "fiat money" issued by national central banks. Some people appear to agree and have been rapidly buying them up, leading to a speculative frenzy. Bitcoins that were valued at $5 a year were selling for as much as $260 in early 2013 before they fell back down below $100.

Some speculators have been making real money off Bitcoins. Are the profits they earn subject to federal (and state) income tax? What Are Bitcoins? Bitcoins are an online digital currency created at a predetermined rate via an open source computer program that began running in 2009. Bitcoins are not backed or regulated by any government, central bank, or other legal entity. Bitcoins can also be directly transferred anonymously across the Internet. Some claim Bitcoins are safer than traditional currency because the currency's value can't be manipulated by central banks or governments. Taxes on Bitcoin Profits April 2013. The Myth of Virtual Currency. Bondsy and the Modern Myth of Barter. In the first chapters of every Economics 101 textbook there’s a misleading hypothetical about the origins of money. David Graeber, in his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years calls it “the founding myth of our system of economic relations.” This myth is so pervasive that even people who have never taken an Economics 101 class know, and believe in, this myth.

We tend to assume that before money there was this awkward barter system where you had to keep all your chickens and yams with you when you went to market to buy a calf. If the person selling the calf didn’t want chicken or yams, no transaction would take place. Money seems to fill a very important need: it lets us compare and exchange a wide variety of goods by establishing a common metric of value. The problem with this construction—of simple barter being replaced with cash economies—is that it never happened. Currencies are a good way of making transactions among people you don’t know or actively dislike. Enter Bondsy. A Living Wealth Money System | New Economy Working Group. Agenda: Root the power to create and allocate official money in democratically governed communities.

The New Economy Money Story University economics courses teach that money is a medium of exchange, which is correct, and a storehouse of value, which may work for an individual but is a fiction for society. A society can store wealth only in real physical, social, and natural capital. To truly understand money, it is necessary to understand it as a system of power, an accounting entry, a measure of value, and phantom wealth. From Caring Relationships to Market Exchange In the earliest human societies, money was unknown. Over several millennia, money gradually became a substitute for mutual caring as the foundation of the social, economic, and political fabric of society. In contemporary 21st century societies, most of us now organize our lives around earning, spending, borrowing, and saving money.

A Matter of Values and Power Democratizing Money. Emperors, clothes, money. BBC Radio 4′s documentary series Analysis has a fascinating programme that explores the little-asked question ‘What is Money?’ – and the answer turns out to be scarily psychological. In fact, the definition is very close to William Gibson’s description of cyberspace as a “mass consensual hallucination” because money relies on us to believe in it for it to work. In other words, it’s largely a social concept we all sign up to and this episode of Analysis looks at the economics of how (or rather how not) money is tied to actual goods and services in the world and what this means in times of financial crisis. It also turns out that the BBC are now linking to podcasts directly from the programme pages so even though we live our lives in the grip of a self-imposed imaginary power at least the Radio 4 website is now easier to use.

Link to Analysis episode ‘What is Money?’ The Ascent of Money. Jem Bendell - The Money Myth. David Graeber | The History of Debt. Money is Not Wealth. This is a guest post by Greg Linster, a graduate student studying economics at the University of Denver. He blogs at Coffee Theory about things philosophical and shares aphorisms (almost daily) at Aphoristic Cocktails.

The father of modern economics, Adam Smith, once wrote: "All money is a matter of belief. " The question I want to pose (and hopefully answer in this article), then, is: Should we believe? I’m afraid, however, that the answer is a rather tricky one. Since Kent’s blog is called The Financial Philosopher and since I'm an economics graduate student with a philosophical proclivity, it seems only fitting that I attempt to tackle a philosophical question about the nature of money. Most of us wake up in the morning and go to a place called 'work' in order to earn money. It seems fairly obvious that most of us would prefer to have more money as opposed to less. As such, I think most of us, when we say we want money, really mean that we want wealth. Notes: Related: Benjamin Wallace on the price of happiness.