Common Cents
by Mathalicious

In early America, the dollar was “backed” by gold; for every dollar that the government printed, it had to keep a certain amount of gold in a vault. In 1971, though, President Nixon did away with this gold standard. Under the new system, the dollar was no longer related to anything physical; a dollar was just...a dollar. Today, more and more people are moving away from physical money and are instead paying digitally: PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.

  1. If a massive Internet outage destroyed all financial records, what do you think would happen?
  2. If an alien asked you to describe what “money” is, how would you respond? Is money real?