The serial numbers on bank notes are the fascination of an online community of enthusiasts who will willingly pay an order of magnitude of the note’s face value. Check out this article & pay more attention to the numbers on your bank notes – they may be worth more than you think! Check out coolserialnumbers.com for a comprehensive list of wanted numbers..
Brett Scott’s article, “So you want to invent your own currency” makes for fascinating reading.
If money is an object, it must be an enchanted one, charged up with value by a subtle cultural process. Why else would anyone exchange a box of coffee for a rectangle of paper? Shopkeepers accept the paper because they believe that it has abstract value — because, in turn, they believe that others believe it, too. The value is circular, predicated on each person believing that others believe in it. You hand over your money and claim something from the shopkeeper, almost as if the coffee were owed to you. Then they take the claim that was previously yours and use it to claim something from someone else. We all trust each other to value money — but this still means that every monetary transaction is a leap of faith. And faith has to be carefully maintained.
Ctrl-Shift has a very good article that explains why data is the currency that is poised to overshadow money, not for the sellers but for consumers.
A huge amount of data today – the data collected by companies’ web sites, Google search terms, Facebook postings etc – are provided by individuals for free. If something is ‘free’ does that mean it has no economic value?
You may have noticed that Bitcoin is in the news a little more these days – the state of affairs in Cyprus has thrust it into the limelight, with it becoming a more valued currency than either the Euro or the US Dollar. The value of a Bitcoin has gone from $5 (Jan 2012) to currently around $140. If you’d like to understand what Bitcoin is really about, read this primer (pdf file)
The Bitcoin system is unique because it is the first digital store of value which can be safely and securely saved and transacted by individuals, without having to rely on a trusted third party. Once acquired and properly secured, Bitcoins can’t be taken from their owner, by a thief, a bank, or a government. Neither can any entity freeze any account, nor prevent the owner from performing (essentially free) transactions on the Bitcoin network.