Time is Not Money

Ideal money is a security that has no dimension.

Ideal money is atomic, structureless, has no extension but has infinite duration.

Ideal money has zero volatility and lasts forever. It has an infinite uninteresting future and an episodically interesting present characterized by sudden changes in ownership.

Ideal money is the security whose transaction is also the settlement.

Whoever finds ideal money can keep it and becomes the new owner. Whoever loses it has no claim on it.

Giving money a spatial dimensional (a coin, a note) implies a less than infinite duration and converts it from ideal to real and approximate.

Money in practice is the smallest security with the longest duration.

The possibility of time variation destroys its ideal quality. A bond, perishable with finite duration, cannot be money.

What’s bad about usury and even interest is the imposition of time on money.

(Ideal money has zero extension and infinite duration. What security, conversely, has infinite extension but zero duration? An ideal bubble?)

6 Replies to “Time is Not Money”

  1. Time is money not because of some intrinsic property of money (or its Platonic ideal), but because of opportunity cost…

  2. To raise the obvious, what of crypto-currency such as Bitcoin?
    Bitcoin is:
    a) dimensionless. Yes.
    b) atomic? No, appears to allow infinite divisibility and “branching”
    c) structureless, no extension but has infinite duration? No, blockchain-based and probably hackable(?)
    d) zero volatility. No wrt exchange value, and
    e) lasts forever? I doubt it.
    So, on balance, Bitcoin does not qualify as as “ideal” money. But then, practical money for the purpose of exchange of goods and services has never been “ideal”. Bitcoin might qualify as practical money if it is sanctioned and defended by a sovreign. Has that happened anywhere?

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