What is the difference between “money” and “currency”?

In by Arthur Brock

Money, as we know it today, is a very specific form of currency. Money’s intended purpose is making exchange easy and universal within the community that uses it. It’s a unit of measure, a unit of exchange, and a store of value. Thus one kilo of potatoes can be exchanged with an hour of gardening or a gallon of oil.

However, there are many other forms of wealth that are central in our lives, but they can’t be expressed with money (see “wealth”). Trying to express the whole spectrum of wealth with conventional money, as is done today everywhere, degrades universal wealth into a tradable form. This places humanity into a mercantile paradigm in which everything can be sold, bought and owned, and this is a huge epistemological mistake. Non-tradable forms of wealth need to be expressed in a more universal, more encompassing language of flows, not with conventional money. This is what currencies, in our broader sense, are made for. They are symbolic tools we use to express and manage currents within the whole spectrum of wealth. Currencies can function systemically in a number of independent capacities: as a unit of measure, store of value, token of status, and a medium of exchange, etc…