25 May 2009

Wired economics

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Nokia’s Ideas Project published a feature story on why technology may be making money superfluous.

“We’re entering a time in which products are expected to give themselves over as platforms for innovation and reinvention. Even money, something we tend to think of as absolute, seems to have lost some standing as a singular fixed medium with which to conduct transactions. This deterioration may have begun with the excesses of the past thirty years, when money came into its own as a commodity. Derivatives, options, credit default swaps, margin calls, shorts were inventive new ways to repackage money, some of which resulted in the near-collapse of our financial system. The recent challenges to our banking system notwithstanding, a different kind of transformation, on with implications to the very essence of our money system, is being affected by technology.

From its role in institutions to its use for transactions, in places as far flung as Uganda and Bangladesh, money is giving way to other forms of currency or, in some cases, nothing at all.”

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