Aristotle Wants Your Bitcoin
Mar 06, 2019
The adoption of electronic payment systems (paypal, apple pay) along now with digital currencies has left many people to ponder the age old question - What is money? Rather than sharing my thoughts on it, I will defer to a far greater mind to answer this quandary.
In 350 BC, Aristotle analyzed the problem of commensurabilty. He explains that money was introduced to satisfy the requirement that all items exchanged must be comparable in some way. He discovered that money needs to have certain characteristics and must represent a unit that supplies a measure on the basis of which an exchange can take place.
Aristotle defined the characteristics of a good form of money as:
- It must be durable. Money must stand the test of time and the elements. It must not fade, corrode, or change through time.
- It must be portable. Money hold a high amount of 'worth' relative to its weight and size.
- It must be divisible. Money should be relatively easy to separate and re-combine without affecting its fundamental characteristics. An extension of this idea is that the item should be 'fungible'. Dictionary.com describes fungible as:"(esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind."
- It must have intrinsic value. This value of money should be independent of any other object and contained in the money itself.
Is bitcoin money and does it qualify under characteristics outlined thousand of years ago?
For his sage advice, Aristotle would gladly accept your bitcoin.