The future of money

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

img006 digitisedBY JAKE THOMAS

In the beginning, money as a medium of exchange revolved around grain, cattle and other necessities. Next came beads, cowry shells and shiny pieces of metal. Today government-issued paper and coins are the rule of thumb. Increasingly, the entire financial system is devolving into sequences of zeros and ones.

For centuries people have relied on an unspoken social contract that assigns a commonly understood value to a recognized set of objects. But if currency has always had a physical existence, its value is defined by the community and the marketplace and is therefore ephemeral. At some level, money has always been an abstraction.

In 2014 physical currency is less tangible than ever, with money’s bling increasingly likely to be found on computer screens. As cash turns into trash, technological innovations are streamlining banking practices and commerce for businesses and consumers.

But the changes under way go beyond transactional efficiencies. As the nation’s financial system comes under increasing scrutiny, currency innovations are being touted as a solution to social and economic problems, democratizing access to capital, helping nurture local businesses and giving a boost to those near the bottom of the economic totem pole.

Oregon Business explored some of the innovations taking place in various financial institutions, from banks cautiously exploring mobile payments to cutting edge digital-currency startups still searching for a market. One thing is clear; although the future of money may be fast, easy and literally immaterial, the goals of the evolving ecosystem remain decidedly old-fashioned:  to facilitate exchange, to allow people to move goods and services and, ideally, to boost work, productivity and income.



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 RE: The future of moneyGuest 2014-03-29 12:13:24
APSJEX.com - Your reliable partner in buying or selling Bitcoin.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

Finding a Balance

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 29, 2015
012915-passinvst-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

News
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

Which Way to Chinatown?

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

The Jade International District, already Portland's center of Asian life, is poised for rejuvenation. Where does that leave the westside's historic Chinatown?


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS