What is it that makes gold precious? Who decided that one piece of shiny rock is worth more than another equally shiny piece of rock? Gold in itself has no use. If you were stuck in the middle of nowhere, wood would be worth more than gold. If you were to offer some gold to a person who has no idea what it is, you would get shot down with a laugh. No one who doesn’t know the symbolic worth of gold would find it valuable. We only care for gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, because we know that it matters to our society.
The same goes for physical money. Money is life, in our world, but it is, in itself, a scrap of fancy paper. There is no apparent worth in cash, but because it symbolizes food, water, shelter—things that actually could be the difference between life or death—we regard it as highly valuable and desirable. Money and gold are worth less that dirt, if you think about it.
Currency makes no sense. You should not be able to obtain half the world for a string of numbers on a computer screen either. If a small group were to decide that money had no value anymore, our society would fall like a house of cards. So intricately designed, so dangerously unstable, is our world built on pile of paper.