Will we need money in the future?

The next video made me realize we have to answer this question.

Now, being money an intermediary, we will reach a point where the need for an intermediary between transactions is eliminated. So, its possible to do away with money without needing to have “free” anything.

But what do you think?

I think the role of money will be marginalized, but I don’t see it disappearing entirely, because it’s still a useful tool that simplifies trade relations.

Unless, we go a step deeper and dare to ask whether in the future the concept of trade will become obsolete. If you can replicate anything you want instantly, and if you have AIs and robots which can do any kind of work without demanding payment, what do you want to trade after all? Well, there are some basic resources like matter, energy, and space that you need for creating stuff, so at least you need access to those. Now the really interesting question is: How is access to basic resources organised? There are different methods for doing so:

  • Politically: The governing political bodies decide who gets how much
  • Economically: Some token system is used to distribute access to resources, be it money, reputation indexes, utility calculations, game scores, or …
  • Mixed forms: Something between the above

Who does land and space and its resources belong to? My answer is: To everyone.
How can we deal with ownership? My answer is: Ownership is a complex societal contract that combines lots of different usage rights for the stuff you own. The system can be changed to be able to handle different usage rights separately and in a more intelligent way. You don’t need to actually own anything – you just need the rights to do certain tasks with certain objects. These rights can be granted in different ways, be it directly democratically, or by some economic mechanism. I’m for a great variety of options in order to maximize personal chances and freedoms.

I’m for a future in which possession of money becomes an optional choice.

Whether it’s called tokens, money, gold, ledger entries, or something else, some symbolic representation of value will be required.

Intermediaries are not always needed, and even sometimes when they are introduced they broke the system (I’m thinking in some experiences with barter networks).