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Negative Currency

Here’s an idea we came up with over lunch: Negative currency.

As well as having coins and notes for various positive denominations of cents and dollars (or pence or pounds or euro, or whatever), also have them for negative amounts. So if you forget to bring cash to buy your lunch, the sandwich shop can just hand over notes and coins worth minus $3.70 (or whatever). You take them, put them in your pocket, and keep them nice and safe, just like regular currency.

Later, if a friend still owes you $2 for something and it seems like he’s never going to pay you back, you just go and give him a minus $2 coin! And – here’s a really cool thing – unlike regular currency, if you ever accidentally lose a negative coin or note, you win! It’s almost like finding regular money!

What a great idea! Something that enables monetary transactions in cases where you’d normally just be unable to do anything, and which doesn’t have the disadvantage of being a bummer when you accidentally lose it. We’re still trying to think of any unforeseen problems.

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