Time is Money is Bitcoin

The idea of money is warped in most people’s minds. Cash has no inherent value. Neither does gold, diamonds, or anything else used as currency. The only thing in the world of true value is time. In that respect, every human being on the planet is born of equal worth. We all have an average of 80 years, or 30,000 days, or 720,000 hours, and every second of those hours is extremely valuable.

The most valuable thing in the world to every human is their time. How one spends it is up to each individual. You can invest in yourself by reading, learning, and developing skills. Or you can sell your time to others (such as a company or employer) in exchange for money which you can use to buy other things you desire. And you can use your money to buy more time by paying others to do things for you. Essentially, money is the stored value of an individual’s previously spent time and energy.

If an individual or collective is in debt, that means their past time was misallocated—or their future time has already been spent. It is one thing to waste your time in the present, but to waste your future is seldom wise. Any given currency can lose its value, but the world can never run out of money in the sense that people will always have time, and an individual’s time is always valuable—though some people’s time is more valuable than others, depending on their knowledge and skills.

There’s a common misconception that the world can’t afford massive-scale projects like combating climate change or colonizing Mars because those things are “too expensive.” Of course, it’s true that those things are expensive. Each of those projects could cost trillions of dollars. But what are dollars but a stored value of time? You don’t need one person with a trillion dollars to do those things; you need enough people willing to devote their time to working on them. Money is a means to motivate people to spend their time on work—because time is money and money is time.

Money is valuable inasmuch as it preserves the value of previously spent time. In this respect, Bitcoin is the most valuable money. Bitcoin is mined through a proof-of-work mechanism, meaning that miners are rewarded bitcoin when they prove they did the work (devoted the time and energy) to using computation power to validate the blockchain. Government fiat money such as the US dollar lacks this proof-of-work (or proof of time and energy) mechanism—it is backed by nothing other than decree.

In the fiat money system, people are paid in dollars for their time and energy devoted to work. However, dollars do not preserve the value of a holder’s previously spent time and energy because a centralized authority (the Federal Reserve) controls the supply of dollars and continually inflates the volume in circulation, thereby decreasing the value of dollars that already exist. Printing money takes no time or energy, so it negates the time and energy already exerted to earn dollars. Increasing the money supply makes your money worth less—it makes your time worthless.

Bitcoin is a revolution in that it not only preserves the value of your time, it increases the value of your past time over time. This incentivizes people to work hard to earn bitcoin, and also to save the bitcoin they earn. The fiat system also incentivizes people to work and earn, but not to save. In a fiat system, you must spend your dollars as soon as you earn them or else you’ll lose them to inflation. In this respect, US dollars are a literal waste of time.

Bitcoin preserves all previous time (through economic exchanges and interactions) forever on the blockchain. This time cannot be changed retroactively because Bitcoin is decentralized with no central authority like the Fed able to fudge the numbers in the past or future. There will never be more than 21 million bitcoins. Bitcoin is money that literally saves your time.

By tying money more directly to time, Bitcoin can more accurately represent the value of work people do—and preserve that value over time. Time is money, and with time money is Bitcoin.


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