On the Origins of Money: Darwin and the Evolution of Cryptocurrency

Source: CoinDesk.com

Source: CoinDesk.com

Who knew Bitcoin and other varieties of so-called cryptocurrency could be so interesting? Writing for CoinDesk, Ryan Walker, an independent consultant and cryptocurrency enthusiast based out of Denver, Colorado, joins the dots between Darwin’s theory of evolution, fiat money and the rise of cryptocurrencies:

Charles Darwin first published his theory of natural selection in his book On the Origin of Species in 1859. The result of over 30 years of research, Darwin delivered to the world a new understanding of how modern species came to be, evolving over generations.

The son of a wealthy English family, Darwin was not a man in need of money. Nonetheless, for On the Origin of Species and his other publications, Darwin received royalties that were most likely paid in British Sterling.

Still in existence, the British Pound has origins dating back as far as 750 A.D. making it the world’s longest-surviving active currency. At the time, I wonder if Darwin recognized that the very currency by which he was being compensated would one day be subject to his very theory of natural selection?

It is a realization that would become far more evident 150 years later with the advent of block chain technology.

For the fortunate minority throughout history, as with Darwin, a given currency is not subject to question. It serves as the accepted means of exchange and is recognized as such from the time one is old enough to understand value.

In this way, currencies are not understood as subject to the laws of natural selection. For the less fortunate majority throughout history, and likely for more fortunate generations to come, this may not be the case.

Natural Selection

Natural Selection can be defined as the process by which specific traits become more or less common in a population over time and it serves as the foundation for the theory of evolution. It is the result of the relative success or failure of these traits competing in a given environment.

Put more simply, it embodies the concept of “survival of the fittest”. Darwin famously defended his theory by describing the various species of finches observed on the Galapagos Islands.

He noted 13 separate species of finch within the ecosystem, each with its own unique food supply. The key differentiating trait between each species was the unique structure and size of beak. Darwin argued that each specie of finch had evolved as the result of varied food supply, where each beak was the best suited to each specific food source available within their environment.

The law of natural selection is most often observed in nature but can also be applied outside of this realm. Corporations are forced to continuously compete and evolve to remain relevant and profitable. Those corporations with the necessary traits such as the ability to innovate, adapt and comply with regulations succeed, while many more go extinct…

[continues at CoinDesk]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.
  • emperorreagan

    How, exactly, is this new variation on commodity fetishism going to benefit the “less fortunate majority” any more than gold or dollar fetishism has?

    • darren kis

      it’s programmable decentralized money that can’t be monopolised by the bankers or big business.

  • BuzzCoastin

    money in any form is a technology
    it starts by signifying stored value
    which later morphs into a percentage of stored value
    and finally evolves into gruberment backed hypothication

    the money tecnology dicates behaviors
    (follow the money trail)
    everything good has an evil twin
    so money can buy comfort & convenience
    but it also causes sorrow & grief

    many civilizations have lived without money
    butt the moneyed societies eventually
    overcame them with money