Re: Future currency

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Mon Jan 08 2007 - 18:02:52 MST

On 1/9/07, Philip Goetz <> wrote:
> On 1/7/07, Russell Wallace <> wrote:
> > A good currency needs to be storable, transportable, canonical and
> > verifiable. Energy, information and computation fail all these
> requirements.
> How is information not storable, transportable, or verifiable? (Are
> you sneaking over into my house to read the emails I send you?)

Information isn't storable in the currency sense: it loses value over time.
It is transportable, granted. It's not verifiable: if I give you a kilogram
of gold, you can check it's a kilogram of gold; if I give you a hot stock
market tip, you can't check until too late whether it's for real.

Computation is storable - you store a credit saying someone owes you
> computation in the future.

Credits are storable, computation isn't. Compare that to gold, where you
have the option of storing the actual gold rather than just a credit saying
"I promise to pay the bearer...".

What does "canonical" mean here?

Having a single form so that you can be sure 100 units of X = 100 units of
X. (I don't know whether there's a standard term in economics for this, if
there is please insert that instead.) Computation for example fails that
requirement: the actual performance of a petaflop system on a particular
problem can easily vary by an order of magnitude depending on the details of
its architecture and configuration (software as well as hardware).

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