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Money is meaningless

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I’ve got a new theme building about money being worthless, useless, rubbish, a waste of space … you name it.

Not real money of course, but money as a concept.

It no longer works in the modern world.

Money is meaningless.

It was created for the physical exchange of trade, goods and services. Today we do little physical exchange.

When money was created, it was to replace gold and bartering.

You see something you want, you pay for it … with notes and coins backed by the realm, the nation’s banks, the governments and anyone else in officialdom.

That’s how we created trade.

And it’s been good for the past half a millennia.

But the world is changing.

We are moving from direct to virtual, from physical to electronic, from hand-to-hand to device-to-device.

As we do this, money becomes meaningless.

That is why we are getting rid of cheques.

It is why cards – as in credit and debit cards – are rapidly morphing into mobile wallets and wireless devices.

It is why card companies and others have declared a war on cash.

We want to get rid of money, because money is meaningless.

Money is no longer relevant in a digital world.

In a digital world, we just exchange bits and bytes, and money is far less relevant when goods and services are being exchanged as bits and bytes.

This is because bits and bytes are just virtual debits and credits, with no physical movement of money involved.

As soon as money becomes bits and bytes, it loses its meaning because you can trade for anything with a virtual exchange.

You can exchange for physical goods – order TVs, fridges and cars online; you can trade with electronic goods – download music, films, books and software; and you can also trade lots of other things such as knowledge, ideas and credits.

This is why P2P lending and payments has become mainstream – because you are just exchanging bits and bytes of virtual credits and debits.

It is for these reasons that Facebook’s activities in virtual credits is important, just as other experimentations with virtual goods and services has been notable, such as those of Second Life in the virtual world and QQ in China.

What these experimentations are making me realise is that money is becoming meaningless, as it’s now all about virtual debits and credits of exchange for value.

So it’s what’s valuable that’s meaningful, not money.

The value is in getting knowledge, ideas, creativity , advice, support, inputs and outputs ... oh yes, and even goods and services.

I’m going to expand on this theme so this is just a marker that builds upon ideas started last year.

And why is this important to banks?

It’s important to banks because the traditional bank guarantee has been to keep our money safe and secure … that guarantee should now be to purely keep our data safe and secure.

After all, it is just bits and bytes.


Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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