Posted on Jun 08, 2023Read on

The Death of Money as a Medium of Exchange

In the rapidly evolving landscape of decentralized exchanges and automated market makers (AMMs), the concept of money as a traditional means of exchange is being challenged. This article explores the transformative potential of a hyper-liquid AMM world, where the traditional notion of a single currency serving as the primary medium of exchange could be rendered obsolete. As we delve into the functions of money and examine the implications of this new paradigm, we witness a fundamental shift in the way we perceive and utilize currency.

The Functions of Money

Money traditionally serves three core functions: store of value, unit of account, and medium of exchange. While each function is interrelated, our focus lies in reevaluating the medium of exchange role.

The Changing Landscape of the Medium of Exchange

The most profound impact of a liquid AMM world lies in redefining the medium of exchange. Previously, money, like the US Dollar, served as a widely accepted method of payment, offering assurance to both buyers and sellers. However, the rise of decentralized exchanges and the integration of smart contract platforms have ushered in a new era where individuals can transact using a multitude of assets. As long as two parties agree on the value, any asset can become a medium of exchange. This flexibility introduces a paradigm shift, surpassing the limitations of a single currency and enabling peer-to-peer transactions with diverse and personalized means of payment.

AMMs: A Medium of Liquid Barter

(Skip if boring) AMMs are automated market makers, examples including Uniswap. Uniswap is a decentralized protocol that allows users to swap any two ERC-20 tokens without intermediaries or centralized order books. Uniswap uses a novel mechanism called constant product market maker, which ensures liquidity and fair prices for any pair of tokens. Uniswap also enables users to provide liquidity to the protocol and earn fees from each trade. By doing so, it creates a network of liquidity pools that can facilitate any exchange between any two assets, so parties can pay in any of a thousand currencies and receive in any other of them.

AMMs essentially acts as a medium of liquid barter, allowing users to bypass the need for a common currency. For example, Alice wants to buy some coffee with her favorite token ETH, and Bob’s Cafe only wants USDC. With AMMs, Bob can accept any currency and still receive USDC. Moreover, Alice and Bob do not need to hold any other tokens besides their desired ones, as Uniswap can handle any conversion between any pair of tokens.

The Implications of a Hyper-Liquid AMM World

The emergence of a hyper-liquid AMM world has profound implications for the future of money and exchange. Here are some of the possible outcomes:

  • The role of money as a medium of exchange could diminish, as people can use any asset they prefer or trust as a means of payment.

  • The role of money as a store of value could increase, as people seek to hold assets that can preserve their purchasing power and hedge against inflation or volatility.

  • The role of money as a unit of account could diversify, as people use different metrics to measure the value of goods and services.

Implications and Outlook

In this highly liquid ecosystem, the concept of a single universal currency as the primary medium of exchange is challenged. While some currencies may continue to serve as units of account for ease of comparison, the notion of one dominant means of exchange will likely fade away. Instead, individuals will embrace the freedom to transact using assets that align with their preferences, values, and circumstances. This shift empowers individuals to personalize their means of payment, selecting assets that offer unique benefits or reflect their specific interests.

The evolving nature of money in a hyper-liquid world raises questions about liquidity, interoperability, and regulatory considerations. Robust liquidity and seamless interoperability between assets will be essential for this vision to materialize fully. Additionally, policymakers and regulators must adapt to this changing landscape to ensure consumer protection, market stability, and compliance with existing legal frameworks.

Store of Value and Unit of Account

Historically, money has been regarded as a reliable store of value, allowing individuals to preserve their wealth over time and facilitate deferred spending. The emergence of decentralized exchanges enables individuals to instantly swap and settle assets, providing alternative forms of storing value such as cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, or other digital assets. This expansion of options challenges the traditional notion of money as the exclusive store of value.

Moreover, money serves as a unit of account, providing a standardized measure of value across economic transactions. While alternative assets and cryptocurrencies can present value discrepancies due to volatility, traditional fiat currencies continue to act as a common denominator for assessing worth. Therefore, money's function as a unit of account remains relevant, ensuring consistent valuation across different asset classes.


As we move further into the era of decentralized finance and liquid automated market makers, the traditional role of money as a medium of exchange undergoes a paradigm shift. While money will still fulfill its function as a store of value and unit of account, the notion of a single currency as the primary means of exchange becomes increasingly redundant. In a hyper-liquid world, individuals will enjoy the freedom to transact with a diverse range of assets, tailored to their individual needs and desires. The evolution of money in this context not only challenges our understanding of currency but also empowers individuals to reshape the financial landscape according to their preferences.