The notion of “worth” and “value” throughout human history was only partly dependent on economic reasons. Arrangements about what is considered an equivalent value/measure of wealth are the result of complex interdependencies of economic, social and cultural factors. For thousands of years people have used precious metals as universal equivalent and main measure of wealth; full-value metal money was, in fact, only reinforced by the authority of state (ruler) evidence of presence certain amount of precious metal. The rejection of valuable coins and the provision of banknotes with precious metals (that is, the rejection of the gold and the silver standard) led to the fact that the circulating money signs in the society ceased to denote a concrete value, becoming an abstraction, putting the population in dependence on state’s monetary policy and financial stability of national economy.
Bitcoin and its numerous alternatives arose as a response to the challenge of informatization, globalization and individualization of economic activity. This is an attempt to escape from control of state structures that are inclined to abuse their right to issue banknotes and to voluntaristic methods of managing the economy. To some extent, the cryptocurrencies reflect the nostalgia of market participants on the gold standard, which is surprisingly transformed into a complete denial of the materiality (including the metal substance) of money. This situation stimulates the search for new models for designation the equivalent value in the information society.