In the previous 5,000+ years of monetary history, unbacked fiat currency has existed for roughly 50 years.
For many alive today, it's all we've ever known so we think of it as the norm. This highlights the challenge for an observer trying to objectively understand the system of which they're a part of.
The Evolution of Money
From seashells and salt to copper and silver, many things have played the role of money throughout history.
A money is partly chosen on the basis of how well it holds its value relative to other goods. This is known as its hardness- the level of difficulty in producing new units of a money relative to other forms of money.
Money Is A Technology
Money has always been a technology, assisted by various innovations and processes (e.g. metallurgy, gunpowder, encryption, etc.).
Hence, we upgrade our money when harder things are discovered or created. The previous monetary good is the demonetized (gradually, then suddenly) as the free market naturally migrates across.
The Fiat Expermient
It’s important to zoom out and acknowledge that we’re living through a highly unstable monetary experiment.
Unbacked paper currency, issued on demand by the state is an anomoly of epic proportions. Though the objective is simply the age-old tactic of discreet wealth theft by those in power.
“In no period of human history, has paper money spontaneously emerged on the free market” -
140 quotes from the 2008 book by Jörg Guido Hülsmann, compiled by Yorick de Mombynes