Money is a tool we use for arms-length transactions, where there isn’t an assumption of any kind of relationship or trust between parties. But as data is being mapped at an accelerating rate – from self-quantification, to the contextual and relational data about our location and interactions, to our preferences and opinions, to our exchanges and transactions – we are being granted access to a much richer base of information in our decision-making toolkit.
What this means is that money isn’t the only kind of currency that can facilitate a transaction anymore. Trust networks are able to be tapped for recommendations and referrals, while predictive analysis algorithms can suggest the kinds of people, products, services, or events that would resonate with our personalities or value set. A new set of filtering tools are emerging that are shaping where we direct our attention and resources, namely intentions and actions.
These contextual clues around data become currencies in themselves, as they give us more information in order to make a choice or decide who to trust. Below are three examples of currencies that are having an impact on the formation of a new economic paradigm and redefinition of how we define, generate and exchange value: Facebook Credits, online identity, and reputation.