This is definitely another piece of work-in-progress.
Recently, I have been thinking about what is the modern day ‘currency‘. Not money in its functional sense but what people really treasure so that businesses revolve about.
So let’s start at the beginning.
When human started something called an economy, the real essence of a currency was really about ‘trust‘. This is what everything we see today are built around (and going obsolete). Printed notes is about trust. Banking system is about trust. Government regulates the way they regulate because everything is built around trust so they need to step in to take out the bad guys taking advantage of this trust system.
Then started somewhere, we got bored with trust. Or more accurately, we haven taken it for granted. So we want something to replace this currency. What we end up with is ‘expectation‘. If we think about it, this is basically what our economy is about for the last 20-30 years. In fact, our entire financial market is built upon expectations. This is why we have warrants, options, futures and all these derivative products (yes, the whole time valued and compound interest calculation have this as fundamental assumption too). Even our stock market is now all about expectation (and computers trading with each other) – i.e. do you expect there will be someone (or another computer) who will buy it off you at your expected price?
Just for the record, the whole mark-to-market valuation is what I believe killing our entire economy today.
So with our over manipulation of each other’s expectations, what’s going to happen next? What do we need as our next ‘currency’?
Obviously I don’t have the answer but it’s fun to predict (yes, we fell in love with this skill in our ‘expectation’ era too).
One thing I believe is, we are not going backwards – so it will not be about trust (in fact, we are going into an anti-trust era) and it will not be about expectation (in fact, we are going into a losing-faith era). So with no trust (in each other) and no expectation (of the future), what’s going to happen next?
My thinking is, as least for now, we are all going to look more ‘inwards’. Yes, Facebook status and Twitter tweets are one of those phenomenons that we can go on forever, but there is more.
We are becoming more sensitive to what we do. We care about our cause more than ever. If we don’t trust and we can’t have expectations, all we can care about is what we do ourselves.
Therefore I believe the next currency in our modern world is the commitment to pursue the right thing.
Let’s come back to this on another day.