Money as a Social Construct
How much does money play a role in impacting our social lives today? And is it an abstract thing or something functional that many prefer not talking about?
In our latest episode on YAP Cast, we turn our attention to money as a social construct and what this actually means. To help us answer this, we’re again joined by Professor Cathy Mulligan, Co-Director of the Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Director of DCentral Lab from the University of Lisbon.
When we think of money as a social construct, a good example to consider is the euro, which was seen among policymakers as a way to bring together other nations and play a social role. With the euro, the idea was to create a European feeling, establishing a solid social identity for Europe.
Yet, while this was an important thing for Europe to achieve, the euro has also nearly torn Europe apart. Before Brexit, there was Grexit, resulting in Greece’s finance minister saying, at the time, that we needed to exit the EU so we can control our own economies, running it the way each nation wants.
Money is Freedom
For many people, money is the freedom to know that if someone wants to leave their job, they have enough financial backing to enable them to do just that and still have a roof over their head. What money means to everyone else may be something different, but at the end of the day it provides security to allow people to do the things they want.
Money has a social component too. When someone goes to a particular restaurant or shop, they are, essentially, saying that they can afford to pay for this and that. The amount of money a person has is a calling card giving them access to places others in less fortunate situations would be shut out from.
Because of this, money has become one of the most defining aspects of our day-to-day lives. We may think it doesn’t drive our lives so much, but how easy would it be to try living without spending any money for a week?
Rethinking Money with Crypto
Because of this, we are beginning to rethink what money means to us. The way the current financial system is set up means that two people can’t get a business venture together to gain access to finance if they don’t have any financial backing already behind them. With the aid of crypto, though, small companies and businesses who would otherwise be financially excluded can engage in finance that truly empowers them.
Cryptocurrency allows us to rethink how our current economic system is set up by delivering a new economic setup that is based on digital technologies. As this new system continues to emerge, it will change how we understand what money is today while enabling new types of transactions using digital currencies.
With crypto, we’re now asking ourselves what money is while deciding what form that takes.
We hope you enjoy the Story of Money by YAP Cast.
For more details, check out the YAP Cast website here.