Imagine a future where you don’t have to think about money. Got it? Well you’re probably thinking about it the wrong way, because today, right now, money isn’t actually real.
That bill you can hold in your hand is simply a representation of a transaction about to take place, completely dependent upon our belief that it has a value. We believe wholeheartedly that a piece of paper can be exchanged for a cup of coffee or a microwave oven. But, when we strip away our dependence on this concept of “money”, this crutch, this physicality of exchange, we’re left with simple formless transactions. Transactions of pure value.
Giant, complex and often arbitrary systems have risen to manage the movement of money. Of cash. Of representations of value. Middleman upon middleman have sprung up to help the system along, or to siphon off its financial leaks, taking a cut that only goes unnoticed when profits are high enough to bear the brunt. For individuals who want to exchange value between one another these systems can drive up costs, dictate unrealistic price points, and make small transactions not worth the effort.
It’s a system ripe for disruption, and it’s being chipped away at by both tech startups and small group communities living and working together – people who want to disintermediate the way we’re paying for our lives. They’re showing the way to pure peer to peer exchanges, without middlemen, without the need for verification or validation handed down from a select few. They’re finding value in new assets and creating ways to trade that value amongst one another systematically and fairly.
We see the movement, and it’s pointing to an inevitable future. One where every person, place, and thing has a measurable value that can be exchanged intangibly, rapidly, securely, and most importantly, directly. It’s a system where abstract notions like social currency have a value that can be exchanged in the same way that we now buy that cup of coffee. It’s a system that can empower a planet where every single device, every head of lettuce, every drop of fuel, every pipe, road, and cable that make up our infrastructure have a value not only in and of it itself, but as a factor of its worth in the context of its use.
It’s a future of unmoney. By abstracting value we’re able to release ourselves from the grasp of money, freeing us to enjoy the ultimate luxury in life: time in abundance. Time to explore. Time to create. Time to build a better world.