The way we traditionally perceive money is, at its root, misguided, as money is what allows humans to experience value.
The Root Of All Evil
For my entire life, to the best of my memory, I can recall one persistent narrative:
“For the love of money is the root of all evil, therefore selfishness must be the seed.” — M. D. Birmingham (which is a take on the quote from 1 Timothy 6:10).
In the most recent decade of my time among the living, I have learned how this belief is wildly misguided. Allow me to defend my reasonings why.
The Ultimate Currency
In the grand scheme of things, money has played a massively important role in the development and progress of history. From the use of seashells as a “money” to the gold coins of Rome or the first fiat currency — the jiaozi of the Song Dynasty in China — to the U.S. dollar today, money has played a pivotal role for humanity.
Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash
What money has done, what made it so revolutionary, was that it allowed our species to give physical form to our time and our energy.
Please, take the time to consider that thought.
The passage of time is one thing that we can never get back. Once it has been spent, there’s no refund. Time is the ultimate currency, forever passing without the ability to return to a prior moment: ever passing, ever spent, ultimately and unequivocally finite.
Whether you go to work every day or you have a hobby that allows you to make a profit from your efforts , you are monetizing your time and your effort that was invested into that job or hobby. That’s precisely what a wage or salary represents — the opportunity cost for your time. Every hour that you sacrifice to a job, you make a decision that the time you sacrifice is worth the monetary exchange you earn in return.
Let me make this clear: A wage is a trade, where you determine that your time is worth the amount you are being compensated for. Whether that amount seems low or high, that’s something you have to tackle as an individual. But, typically, individuals earn what their time is worth in accordance with multiple factors: skill/capability, specific knowledge, expertise, network connections, wisdom, and so on. All of those qualifications represent an amount of time that was invested by the individual. Time, again, is the actual currency.
By giving our time an exchangeable vehicle in the form of money, or purchasing power, we made it possible for our species to exchange our own time for the time of another’s. Where you may spend hours of your day to produce a tool to be used, let’s say an axe, you may then sell this axe to another for money, where you then go and use that money to purchase bread — which would have required effort on your part to produce yourself (not to mention the time and energy required to spend learning, failing and refining the process to produce said good).
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash
Love For Money
So, I propose a … philosophical, maybe even spiritual question:
If money is “the root of all evil,” but money is simply a representation of our time, what does that make of us and our use of time?
Money is not the root of all evil. Money is a tool just like the axe. A tool is purely neutral; it has no philosophical or moral allegiance.
Therefore, if money is neutral, then the root of evil has to lie elsewhere, not within the vehicle with which we give our desires physical realization.
Appreciating money is to appreciate time or rather, the appreciation of efficient time expenditure. Saving money is to park your expended time for a larger purchase at a later date or to allocate funds in case of an unforeseeable expenditure or emergency. Whereas investing money is to sacrifice immediate gratification of a purchase and to risk providing funds to another individual/group, allowing them to use your money (ergo, time) to act out their plans or business, in exchange for a greater return on your initial investment in the future.
Money is not evil. Money is time. What matters is how we choose to spend it.
Whether you choose to spend your time, save it or invest it … one variable is necessary.
You have to trust that your time is in good hands, ergo, the money that you choose to measure your time in must be free from risk of debasement, seizure, censorship or fraudulence.
Otherwise, a large portion of your precious time must be sacrificed to protecting your funds — your precious accumulated time. Those that rather not spend that time, spend the funds to compensate another for strategies and vehicles that protect their purchasing power from the forces of inflation and/or debasement.
Enter bitcoin, stage left.
A force of human ingenuity, bitcoin protects hodlers’ time by providing a vehicle that is censorship resistant, unseizable, easily transportable, liquid and tradeable globally 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. No breaks. No CEO. Maintained by the People.
Maintained by a flotilla of free-agent developers that work night and day, sacrificing their precious time to ensure the open-source network continues to provide services that so many across the globe have come to trust and compensated by the community (donations made by individuals, organizations and corporations that consider themselves members of the Bitcoin Legion).
It is of my opinion that if you truly value your time, then you must measure your time in a money worthy of trust. Bitcoin is the most logical vehicle to protect time value.
I trust Bitcoin.
*P.S. Big thanks to Orville, for your input, for being one of my most avid readers, and for being a good friend.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.