Was ist Geld?

Brett Scott schreibt im Aeon Magazin über Geld. Wie David Graeber, der sich mit seinem Buch „Schulden – Die ersten 5000 Jahre“ an einer Geschichte des Kreditwesens – und damit auch eine Geschichte des Geldes – schrieb, ist er Anthropologe. Scott hat in der Finanzindustrie gearbeitet, um herauszufinden, wie sie funktioniert: „The financial system exists, above all, to mediate flows of money, not to question what money is.“

Er vergleicht dabei Geld mit Computersystemen: Finanzinstrumente funktionieren dabei wie Programmiersprachen, Geld ist Assembler.

Scott plädiert für alternative Währungen, wie BitCoin oder lokales Geld, zusätzlich zu Dollar, Euro und Co.

Es folgen unzusammenhängende Zitate:

The monetary enchantment appears to work best when its tokens merely appear valuable, while containing no true value. That’s how you convince people both to accept them and to give them away, rather than consuming them.

Perhaps we can tinker with the word ‘money’ itself. It’s a mass noun, like you’d use for some kind of tangible substance, and it makes money sound like a ‘thing-in-itself’. As a kind of mental discipline, I prefer to use a different word: COGAS. It stands for ‘claims on goods and services’, which is all money really is. And now I have a word that describes itself, as opposed to one that actively hides its own reality. It sounds trivial, but the linguistic process works a subtle psychological loop, referring money to the world outside itself. It’s a simple way to start peeling back the façade.

Friends got involved with Bitcoin a few years ago when it still seemed almost entirely ethereal. They talked a lot about Bitcoin’s elegant and robust design, but in my opinion, it got much of its initial boost simply because it seemed so cool, rebellious, mysterious and novel. To my eye, it has a certain offbeat, grimy digital aesthetic, like electronic graffiti. Now, as more people enter the scene, Bitcoin is solidifying into a monetary reality. An entire community has grown up around digital signatures, imbuing them with imagined value, giving the currency a life of its own that eventually extends far beyond the initial in-group. If doubt can destroy a currency, then a cultlike process of evangelical faith-building can create one.

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