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Felix Martin: What is Money – and why does it matter?

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.02.46 BY CELINE GE 23/03/2015

Felix Martin, author of the highly acclaimed book “Money – The Unauthorised Biography” and former World Bank economist, predicts that continuous technological innovation will give birth to new generations of digital currencies.

During his talk on 24 March hosted by the King’s Economics and Finance Society, Felix argued that money is more “a system of token and credit” than “a real thing” — it is the philosophical role, not it’s physical value that plays the decisive role. Countries like Ireland and Argentina, Felix argued, have all gone through a period during which the severely-paralysed banking system disabled circulation of their official currency and therefore drove people to adopt a private unit of exchange for market transactions. “Private money is as old as finance itself” he said. “And it is actually working.”

Although Felix holds doubts over the future viability of bitcoin, he projected a likely rise of digital currencies invented by Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google and Apple that look to cash in on the market’s increasing interest in “private money.”

CELINE GE- News Editor

Master of International Political Economy student at King’s College London. Her interests lie in financial economics and political economy

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