The currencies ruin the life

Sep 26, 2022

Today, we can’t imagine a world without money, a legal tender against liabilities. It has struck us so deeply to thrust us into hell. We allowed it to overpower us. In the calendar of human existence, currency, as a legal tender, is only a few days old. It is the discovery of the modern world. It may sound strange! After the discovery of money, we have kept aside all other priorities in life, bringing a drastic change for the worst, perhaps. 

In one of her beautiful stories, Sudha Murthy mentioned a barter system existing in some parts of Karnataka. Until then, I hadn’t heard of such a most common and simple trading system in any part of India or any corner of the world. I would have happily chosen that place to live the rest of my life.

Karnataka is one of the states that has a legacy of bad politics. Money could topple an elected government and choose another government in place of the elected one. If that state still nurses a place where one can live on barter without money, there can be nothing more interesting.

In today’s context, there could be an equal level of advantage and disadvantage in the barter system. Barter simplifies all transactions. However, the lack of an equation to measure the value of some transactions of products variable in nature creates a disadvantage. As people become greedier, the barter system can be a leveller. In the modern world, people want to grab easy wealth. People want to be rich overnight without doing any work. The smart one makes too much money. Many of the rich men belong to this class.

In the same world of barter, a system of exchanging consumables, cannot exist so smoothly because this system involves everyone’s work for subsistence. The more you work the better your comfort. Why does one require something more than what is consumable, if the future is not worrisome? Money in the form of metal coins originated from the western world thousands of years ago. It was the discovery of money that triggered the human lust for wealth. Incidentally, the barter-able items become tradable in exchange for money. That marked the end of barter. Commodities were barterable, though the equation of valuation would never be standard.

These days, barter could have been a better option. We could have reversed the reason that forced a shift from barter to the money involved trade – exchange of commodities against metal coins. In the past, the intervention of money became a necessity, as that was the option to encash huge quantities of commodities, which were difficult to store. They were perishable also. The local market was not big enough to absorb and exchange with other consumables.

Now the situation has changed. The movement of commodities, conveyance and communication have become globally networked. One’s sales realisation is complete with credit through an electronic entry, which can be exchanged against what he requires to buy. Perhaps virtual currency is reopening the way for a return to the era of barter, thanks to the conversion of money in material form into digital format

Those who discovered the coin and later the so-called currency might not have ever foreseen its consequences. Though it might be considered as a medium that triggered the biggest change in human life, it took the human race to the brink of disaster.

The invention of money ruined everything on earth. People began to kill and die for it. Money and wealth was the reason behind every disaster, be it a war or calamities. After the discovery of money, the fight between monies also began. The modern world calls it a currency war. Before the onset of the pandemic, the world saw it as China tried unsuccessfully. China has found digital as the next bet. It is now asking the rest of the world to transact with it directly through digitised yuan.

The French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had warned the world about the rise of China. He said: “China is a sleeping giant, let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” Two hundred years later, that has come close to reality. China shook the world after it lost the currency war with the US. Now its currency, the yuan, is digital. China is the first one to introduce digital currency. The US is still thinking about it. For China, digital currency is not a digital transaction. It is only a transfer entry from one account to another through the wallet app. In this process, only the Peoples’ Bank of China knows the transaction. Other banks have no role.

Side by side, cryptocurrency is also trying to gain ground. It is all of a mystery, unlockable ever. Whereas the government of the respective country centrally controls the digital currency.

We have used our brains to support trades and commerce through currency. But the practice of currency exchange missed the aim as the cleverer and those who were undeserving managed to possess a larger size of it in transactions. Instead of using it as a medium of a transaction, people looked at it and agreed to multiply it through gambling. Soon we began to look at it with a different eye.

Currency carries a digital value though it has a different value based on who owns it. For example, if I loan ₹500 to an economically weaker person, he finds in it a higher value. We often buy an item of the same quality for a different price from different shops of the same location or of different locations. In such cases, money commands variable value. That way, person to person and shop to shop domestic value of currency differs. Earlier currency people used for gambling. Now currency itself is gambling material.

To stem this imbalance, we need a more convenient special-purpose currency for a specific procurement. For example, if a rice seller does not have a desirable buyer on the other side there has to be a specified legal tender that enables the rice seller to buy a specified item of necessity from another one. Though this may be complicated, artificial intelligence and machine learning can design a solution by pooling and right channelling buyers and sellers in the neighbourhood. Let us remember, the world has come a long way from barter to metal coin, paper currency, plastic currency and of late to digital currency. While there is no problem with keeping any size of money in a formal account is allowed, physical stock of it was offensive. I am afraid the currency is changing its goal post at an alarming frequency.The dominant force still enjoys the luxury of currency aggression. As the US has currency clout around the world, wealthy people have clout in the domestic market. In politics, money creates leaders. In the economy, money builds corporate entities.