Money is the thing we invented to be able to save our past work efficiently. Sometimes it’s more luck than work, like finding a treasure before someone else does. But I’d argue that you risked the work of looking for it in a spot that wasn’t obvious and likely worthless, otherwise someone else would have found it before you.

Money is a work battery. You charge it in the present with the intention of getting back that stored work in the future.

And just like batteries, the easiest it is to charge them, the longer they hold that charge, and the more efficient they are at unloading that charge again, the better. Those three actions exist when we’re talking about money too. A good type of money should be easy to purchase or exchange today, it should hold its value for a long time, and should be easy to sell back for stuff tomorrow.

We can already imagine what a bad type of money looks like: it’s cumbersome to get, it loses value over time, and it’s expensive to exchange back.

Just like having batteries allowed us to move around in space and carry tools powered by electricity without being tethered to a wall socket, inventing money allowed us to move beyond the present and start moving through time. We began to build and create instead of just consume.

It’s a good deal and brought us this far. So let’s see what we need if we want to create a better battery that the one we have today.

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