The current system of meritocratic capitalism has been around for a long time now. In the past hundred years in particular, it has grown strength to strength. However, with that growth also comes an increase in likelihood of its opposite. That is to say, the longer such a system continues, the more volatile it becomes. This is particularly clear when you look at how money has been changing over the years. Put simply, at its most basic, money is an agreed value system with no intrinsic meaning. As such, it is only the agreement between people that makes it what it is. This means that it is also remarkably easy to alter or to change the value. And this is something that we have seen happen to money over the past century. Money is ever-changing, always in flux, and it is likely to be that way for as long as it exists. Let’s take a look at exactly how it has changed, by looking at some of the most interesting adaptations.
Roughly around the middle of the 20th Century, the notion of credit was born. Initially, this was devised as a means by which the average consumer could be able to buy the many new gadgets which were appearing on shelves. These gadgets are now everyday items – iron, washing machine, and so on. Yet, credit was introduced as the idea of buying now and paying later. This seemed like a dream to many people, and credit soon became popular. This marked a significant shift in the way that people approach money. Now, banks were lending money that literally did not exist in exchange for repayment with real money. It is clear to see how this might lead to problems later on in the 20th Century.
Fast forward to the early 21st Century, and we see the emergence of an entirely new form of currency. The bitcoin has received a lot of mixed press since its arrival, but what exactly is it? A bitcoin is an entirely digital currency, it being the first of its kind. It operates independently of central banks, by using encryption techniques. This regulates the generation of units of currency. The major difference here is that it is a form of non-physical currency which is entirely sustainable. In other words, it is much like credit, but designed to stand the test of time. Since its birth, it has sky-rocketed. You can now even engage in bitcoin gambling, if you so desire.
Increasingly, we can see a trend away from real money being handed over, and towards less and less interaction at all. This might well be beneficial in some respects for the over-rushed consumer of today. But it might also be the case that not having that genuine transaction is causing some issues. Some psychologists feel that handing over a physical item in exchange for goods feels more like spending. Therefore, you are likely to remain frugal. However, numbers on a screen do not seem to mean quite so much.