Hi there,

This week’s topic is all about money, as no discussion about buying can leave it out. It is the essential medium of every transaction and regardless if it comes in a form of coin, banknote, card or stock, its power dominates our world. However, money as we know it, and consequently the rules of the economy, are changing; cryptocurrencies have come about to replace the bank administered national currencies, growing from Bitcoin’s first appearance in 2009 to over 4,000 altcoins now. So, how do you think the ways we shop are going to be affected by these new media of exchange? Are we going to still pay with money or another form of currency? Or perhaps we will return to exchange goods or services?

1 – So first things first, how long ago was the money system created and for what kind of reasons?
A brief history of currency exchange to get you started.

2 – You migh have heard of the ancient Roman aureus or the ancient Greek drachman, but what does this mean in today’s exchange rates?
This article tries to explain the purchasing power of ancient coins by comparing it to salaries and prices that are found in surviving scripts.

3 – Nowadays, there are 164 official national currencies circulating around the world.
You might not know them all, but this simple infographic can help you out.

4 – Did you know that the Norwegian architecture firm co-designed the new banknotes of Norway?
Well, they are beautiful and they started circulating  last November. Snohetta’s design depixts pixelated landscapes on the one side of each banknote, while the other side is designed by Metric Design and illustrator Terje Tønnesen.

5 – Not even fantasy worlds can escape the necessity for a monetary system.
This is a list of imaginary currencies from movies and video games.

6 – Yet maybe its centuries-long existence is soon to be over. The alternative monetary systems will allow us to trade without money and perhaps hellp us cure our unhealthy addiction to growth.

7 – What happens when cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum take over?
We’re not there yet, but in this sparky talk, digital currency researcher Neha Narula describes the collective fiction of money — and paints a picture of a very different looking future.

Feeling inspired already? You can register and share your ideas with our remarkable jury. We also have very appealing awards for the winning teams. Because after all it’s always sunny in a rich man’s world.