Money, as part of economics, is a symbolic agreed upon medium of value for the exchange of goods and/or services. Paraphrased from Homer Simpson like in this youtube clip

Currency is the specific type of money that is in circulation with varying agreed upon values in comparison to another currency. For example a US Dollar is a currency, a Swiss Franc is a currency, a bitcoin is currency.

Money can also be viewed as a form of debt, as stated on the US dollar bill. "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". 


An image of a banknote  representing US currency of  $1 dollar. image: US Treasury, U.S Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Banknotes, bills,  and or coinage is an economic technological design solution to moving or transporting money from one place to another or from individuals or groups within a society. Money can also be transferred often frequently via electronic means sometimes called EFT (electronic funds transfer)

The storage and distribution of money in society is typically managed by special economic institutions.

Money has a social dimension

Money has a very significant social value. The more money an individual or company has the higher potential social standing or influences  they have. In addition, access to more amounts of money allow for greater choices in goods and or services they have. This leads to concepts of wealth and poverty. This is also the basis of social standing and personal desirability in some cultures.

Biological analogy

In a biological system like a cell, there are specialised molecules for carrying energy called ATP. The purpose of this molecule is for the exchange of goods (storage, e.g. transport into a vesicle) or services (physical movement) in a cell. This process is called metabolism.

ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is a specialised biological molecule for exchanging energy within living cells. image: wikipedia

A slight different feature of ATP vs real money is that ATP actually carries a large potential energy source, it's value is chemical energy in nature. Real money, such as notes/currency has no physical value due to a more complex series of social and energy distribution agreements for what money has a value for.  Although ultimately even in economics a limiting factor is energy accessibility.

Personal perception of money

Money is often viewed in quite different ways depending on a persons personality and political views.

  • Money is often viewed as primarily debt to be returned
  • Money as a means of exchange for only personal practical needs of goods and services
  • Money as means of exchange for goods and services for others
  • Money as perception of social status and value