The world is struggling with economic and financial issues and economists are trying their best to leverage their knowledge and experience in coming up with a fool-proof way to deal with any economic crisis. Amongst all this, a popular writer and best-selling author Kabir Sehgal has a sci-fi angle to the future of money.
Kabir Sehgal is the author of the The New York Times bestseller 'Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us'. He goes on to present a sci-fi explanation of how the money will shape up in another 500 years.
Sehgal presents a beautiful explanation in the favour of science-fiction and explains why the sci-fi predictions are more valid as compared to those of economists. He likes to think that we are living in the age of space travel and explores the future of money in relation to how people will occupy different planets and make money transactions.
It won't be as simple to make transactions with each other when people are living on different planets. He calls in the theory of relativity to explain how the interest rates and time will be calculated in that scenario.
To support his theory of relativity, he takes inspiration from 'Star Wars' and feels that a new rare metal will be used as currency just like the intergalactic baking unit or credit used in 'Star Wars'. He further adds that a distributed network will arguably be built throughout the galaxy to verify local transactions.
Sehgal predicts that we may be building energy grid systems where everyone plugs into the same grid and trades vitamin B and calories in a way to rebalance the energy. Energy is by default the currency in the natural world and similarly, can be used as a currency in the human world too, 500 years from now. Quite a thought!
Did you know that the concept and terminology of a credit card were first put forth by Edward Bellemy in 1887 in his book titled 'Looking Backwards'? He introduced the concept of a credit card in a sci-fi way through his story about this guy who falls asleep and wakes up in 2000 to find an era of credit cards. He sees that the government has issued money on the credit cards and distributed to citizens. Now that the credit card system is popular among us, we cannot overlook the sci-fi predictions and should give it a thought.
Sehgal goes on to explore the future of money and adds that sci-fi writers are of the view that if a pacemaker can be embedded in the body, then why not embed a payment device in the human body? Just wave a hand at the other person and the payment is done! Interesting, isn't it?
Another very intriguing prediction about the future of money comes from Sehgal when he explores the idea of using reputation as a currency. He states that reputation is very dear to everyone and every business.
Suppose you walk into a restaurant and you are told that you have no reservations and hence will need to wait. You pull out your phone from the pocket and start using it for a friendly conversation with a friend but the restaurant owner fears a bad review coming from you on the internet. He apologizes to you for having to wait and requests you not to mention something negative on Yelp or Google as he feels his reputation will be at stake.
This example instantly reveals that how dear a reputation is to a business owner and any bad review will affect his business adversely. This implies that reputation is money or currency! There is no need for a brain chip or payment device in this case and reputation is all that can amp up or decline a business.