Currency based on Energy

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 22:07:19 MST


although the idea of a currency based on energy started as a joke (or what seems like it) on the Extropians group, I think it has
some validity as a currency system.

Since we can quantify energy quite easily, I think we can seriously consider a currency based on energy. A currency based on
apparently valuable things like gold and silver would rely too much on subjective valuing and one based on a government can prove

I suggest that we base our measures on something quantifiable and based in the "real" world, and immutable to change and as immune
from politics as possible. Energy seems to fulfil this creiteria, thanks to no small measure by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

We can consider the price of a process or a product equivalent to the amount of energy needed to produce it. Let's take the original
value of everything as nil, the potential energy value as 100% and then as we do something to it (like building cars, houses and
space colonies) we transfer the potential value to our own use.

The universe would act as our natural resource for us to convert energy from one form to another, extracting utility from it while
degarding it by decreasing its future utility. When "mining" energy, high entropy energy (such as heat) has lesser or nil prices,
and low entropy ones like visible light commands a higher price. Energy density varies minute from microwave radiation, small from
oil combustion to 100% from antimatter.

As we develop more and more advanced technology, our productivity increases both by evolution (such as increased productivity by
doing more with less) and revolution (by attaining things that previously we cannot do). Our energy economy would increase in size
along with at least technological and population factors.

With the advanced technology of the future, we might realise Einstein's E=MC^2 for almost all kinds of matter (perhaps except those
trapped in black holes). When that happens, you will have to pay a lot more for atoms than for normal energy, so make sure you hoard
some matter (like your own body) today.

Have a nice day.

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