What is Money? Bitcoin and 12 Rules for Life

By Rasmi Mantilla | Ras Mantilla | 20 Aug 2021

It’s August 20th and Grace just ripped through the Mexican peninsula as a category 1 hurricane. The winds were super strong honestly. The worst part is, there are 20+ hurricanes estimated for this season…I’m starting to miss winter, actually.

Since the last time we talked, Bitcoin was at $42,000 and has seen a really nice jump to $48,800 causing altcoins to also rocket. My ADA bags are at all-time highs. 😊

So today's article is about Jordan Peterson and a couple of Bitcoiners that sat down for a chat about Bitcoin.

If you don’t know who Jordan Peterson is, he is a Canadian professor of psychology, clinical psychologist, and author. You may have heard of his book 12 Rules for Life or Maps of Meaning that are books about morality.

Anyway, for me, he is one of the most influential people in the world in the past decade, and when I saw this interview pop up in my YouTube feed, I was confused about why these two worlds — which I both love — would be colliding.

Jordan’s books are books about morality, ordering our lives, and finding balance in the chaos. Bitcoin is a crypto that is “used by drug dealers…” blah blah blah etc.

Well, in this article I want to share with you some of the most important things that were talked about.

The Bitcoin Rabbit Hole

I first heard of Bitcoin while I was finishing my degree in 2015 from an episode of London Real starring Andreas Antonopoulos, and I listened to it twice because it was so damn confusing and because it was so damn intriguing.

After the second listen — still was super confused, but something about what this guy was saying and how he was saying it really penetrated my thick skull and made me a believer — but the belief quickly faded…

Up until the 2017 bull-run came along and I kicked myself for not keeping that belief alive (aka buying some Bitcoin haha)

I still regret it obviously — but not solely because I could have made x amount of money, but in many ways because of other reasons.

I’ve effectively fallen down the rabbit hole with this topic, and it’s opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and living.

The biggest change I’ve seen is my relationship to money.

What is Money?

This is the question that Robert Breedlove poses as the most important question to be asking.

Have you really ever asked yourself what is money, though?

Money is a device for moving value across space and time — okay, that’s one definition.

But historically, money hasn’t always been the same.

Typically, monetary metals have best satisfied the properties of money in the past — with gold being the scarcest, and therefore the most valuable.

However, what we have all grown up with is a distinct type of money:

National currencies, or fiat currencies — Paper money — that has now turned into a number on a screen and could even disappear with central bank digital currencies; Currency that has no real backing by hard money.

So, ask yourself, do you know the difference between currency and money?

Let’s go into this quickly.

Both currency and money have the following properties:

1) Medium of Exchange

2)Unit of Account — $1, $10, $100

3) Portable

4) Durable

5) Divisible — we can make change out of it

6) Fungible — a dollar in my pocket buys the same as a dollar in your pocket

But money has one characteristic that differentiates it — it’s a Store of Value

A store of value is something that holds its value over time due in part to the inhibition of supply manipulation — it requires time and energy to increase its supply.

Gold has been the best at this so far in the human story.

But now, many are seeing that Bitcoin is a much better alternative because it fulfills all of the same properties as gold, but is better. I’ll talk a little bit more about that later in the article.

Let's go into one of the main issues that were touched on in the interview which was inflation and central banking and look at some data.

Inflation and Central Banking

Here’s Robert Breedlove explaining his central thoughts:

“What is money? This is the gateway to this rabbit hole that we’ve all fallen down. It is the key to unlocking a lot of the untruths in the world. And I think it’s also the key to perceiving the corruption that’s embedded in our current socio-economic system, at the core of which is central banking.”

He continues

“Money is essentially a contract of the future. And fiat currency is a violated social contract. So, we have money by which an institution effectively robs our future. They’re compelling the demand for this money, and they’re violating its supply to enrich themselves and dispossessing everyone else, mostly economically vulnerable people.”

If you didn’t know, since August 15th, 1971, the US Dollar hasn’t been backed by gold.

This was the original agreement that was made at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 which made the US dollar the world reserve currency.

And ever since 1971, the US government has printed massive amounts of quantities at will.

And today, the US dollar is about 60% of the value of all the currency on the planet, and more than half the dollars reside outside the United States.

The reason for this is because central banks around the world hold it and also because oil is priced in dollars.

Okay, so let's see what has happened since 1971 in the United States:


This graph shows the divorce prevalence since the 1950s. Check out what’s happened since 1971.



This graph is the growth in productivity and hourly compensation since 1948. Again, look at 1971.

It’s perplexing how with all the innovation in technology in the past 4 decades, compensation hasn’t gone up with productivity.


This is the income growth from 1917–2012 of the top 1% of owners and the bottom 90%. Again, look at what happened since 1971.


And last but not least, the incarceration rate per 100,000 inmates since 1925.

If you want to see more go check out this website: https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/

This could be proof that this rupture from that gold standard and the development of modern-day economics which is largely manipulated by central banks could be a major cause of the problems we are seeing.

Fiat Money Works Though…

So something interesting that Jordan Peterson brings up:

“But we do have money and it does work, we can still it still stores value we can still spend it.”

Here Richard James chimes in and mentions the following:

“I think we have to make a fundamental distinction between money that is chosen by the free market, and the money that is forced upon someone which is essentially what the US dollar is.”

He argues that the US dollar is imposed by a legal tender law that forces US citizens to transact only in USD and nothing else and therefore save in this same asset.

So it's either work hard, make money and save in a depreciating asset, or risk investing it to offset the loss from inflation and then pay a capital gains tax for taking that risk.

And think about the population who cannot invest and live paycheck to paycheck. They have absolutely no choice but to let inflation dig them deeper into a hole.

Not even mentioning the billions affected in countries less fortunate.

The Bitcoin Solution

So why is Bitcoin a potential solution to this?

Bitcoin is algorithmically programmed to only mine 21,000,000 Bitcoins and the mining rewards — or the new Bitcoin that is created — is cut in half every 4 years. This is one of the reasons we’ve seen Bitcoin bull markets in 2013, 2017, 2020.

Bitcoin permits us to trust in computer code, and not in a central bank to handle the monetary policy.

And as the years pass, and especially due to the pandemic, more and more people have come and will come onto the Bitcoin network. The data is there.

The crazy thing is that institutions, corporations, and even nations are seeing that this asset is much better than gold.


Remember that money is a device for moving value across space and time.

Gold is expensive to store, heavy to carry and you can’t buy a cup of coffee with it.

With Bitcoin, we now have a digital store of value that can be transacted with or held over a long period of time that cannot be inflated by a third party.


Now, the last topic I wanted to mention is that it gives people sovereignty over their money and enforces responsibility.

This is another correlation that’s made by the Bitcoiners.

Jordan Peterson’s most important rule from his books is:

Take responsibility for your life.

If you own Bitcoin, stored on a wallet, that only you know the private key to — there is no one on this planet that can take that digital property away from you.

You become your own bank effectively. And as a result of this, you take full control and therefore have full responsibility for one of the most important elements in your life.

This causes ripple effects into other important areas.

So can Bitcoin make our lives better? If you have the vision and dedication to see the potential, it very well could (It also could go to zero 😆).

I definitely can say that this space has changed my life, and opened my eyes to how I manage my money and how I spend it. It’s given me a sense of financial freedom that I have never felt before, and that's one of the reasons I have started writing about this space. I hope that I can bring some of that same value and inspiration to your life (one of the psychological factors talked about in the interview).

There were other topics that were talked about in the interview…


Like how Bitcoin changes people’s relationships to time, makes them feel part of something bigger than themselves, and others — but I don’t want to make this a novel.

I’ve put a link to the episode down below, as well as some other resources if you want to learn more about Bitcoin, gold, inflation and Jordan Peterson.

With love friends.

Bitcoin: The Future of Money? Jordan Peterson Interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVym9wtopqs&t=139s

Hidden Secrets of Money https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE88E9ICdiphYjJkeeLL2O09eJoC8r7Dc

Maps of Meaning — Jordan Peterson Audiobook https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dem-niViZWw&list=PLzKrfPkpj5om_sRJgfzh63FEiwDg6aTTP&index=1

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Ras Mantilla
Ras Mantilla

Fintech Writer - Blockchain and Digital Assets

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