So why does a five-dollar bill have value and some other pieces of paper do not? Its simple: Money is a good with a limited supply and there is a demand for it because people want it. The reason I want money is because I know other people want money, so I can use my money to others to get goods and services from them in return. They can then use that money to purchase goods and services that they want. Goods and services are what ultimately matter in the economy, and money is a way that allows people to give up goods and services which are less desirable to them, and get ones that are more so. People sell their labor (work) to acquire money now to purchase goods and services in the future. If I believe that money will have a value in the future, I will work towards acquiring some.
Our system of money operates on a mutual set of beliefs; so long as enough of us believe in the future value of money the system will work. What could cause us to lose that belief? It is unlikely that money will be replaced in the near future, because the inefficiencies of a dual coincidence of wants system are well known. If one currency is to be replaced by another, there will be a period in which you can switch your old currency for new currency. This is what happened in Europe when countries switched over to the Euro. So our currencies are not going to disappear.
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