Is money an intangible concept and currency a way to make it physically present?

If not, then what is the difference??

Please dont duplicate it as i have read other answers and then asking.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ by the way, if one of the answers answered your question please do not forget to accept it $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:27

2 Answers 2


Actually money is a pretty tangible (strictly defined) concept in it being (i) a means of transaction, (ii) a store of value, and (iii) a unit of account. It is just that not only Currency, meaning coins and notes, have such properties.

Most authors refer to currency as one component of money supply, as there are multiple other forms which money can take, other than it.

Currency is notes and coins that are available to the public at any given time. But there is also money that is deposited and thus not part of currency, e.g. demand deposits, savings deposits. Even traveler's cheques are money, yet not currency.

The traditional graphic for money supply goes a little something like this:

enter image description here

Perhaps you could say that money is part tangible/material (currency) and part intangible/immaterial (deposits).

Sources include Mankiw - Macroeconomics, and many other basic textbooks like McCallum - Monetary Theory and Policy

P.S.: Excuse my puns with the word intangible.

  • $\begingroup$ +1, I like the answer, sometimes I cannot really separate something basic and being used in daily life $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2021 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ If we talk in historical terms when paper currency was not there and gold/silver coins were there, then would gold coins be considered money or currency? $\endgroup$
    – Ravi Kd
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:03
  • $\begingroup$ @RaviKd they maybe used interchangeably in this case, I deem $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2021 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ So we can say currency is a type of money that is issues by the sovereign? $\endgroup$
    – Ravi Kd
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ @RaviKd coins are currency, as the answer writes in the first paragraph notes and coins are currency $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:35

By money we mean assets that are used and widely accepted for payments. Although this definition is in some ways a tautology (conversely: payment is the use of money) it states precisely that money can be anything used as such.

The physical form of money can vary, and there have been historically different forms of money. In order to accurately define the concept of money, it is useful to make a clear distinction between monetary assets and non-monetary assets (all other than monetary assets).

Today the definition of what money is in an economy is very specific: Money is the sum of coins, banknotes and deposits. Anything other than these three is not money. The term banknote is synonymous with the term banknote. The set of coins and banknotes is called the set of monetary circulation. But money is not just about money circulation. Deposits are deposits of individuals in commercial banks and deposits of commercial banks in the central bank.

The modern definition of money means, for example, that checks are money (as long as the amount of the check is available in the issuer's deposit account, and the check represents exactly a direct entry in the deposit account without the need to transfer banknotes).

Also money is the charge of credit and debit cards.

But in order for the money to be defined according to him modern scientific way has crossed a remarkable path, passing through the history of the most important civilizations and playing an important role in their evolution.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi, welcome to Economics:Stack Exchange. Please consider improving the answer by adding references from reputable and scholarly sources. As many other science stacks do, we require formal proofs, statistical evidence or links to external sources for answers making claims which are not common knowledge. Unsourced material can be edited or deleted. For more details see our help center and FAQ on community standards for answers $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ @1muflon1 can you please provide a answer to this question? $\endgroup$
    – Ravi Kd
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:20
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    $\begingroup$ @RaviKd I think, the other answer already provided decent answer and I would be just repeating what the answer said. In economics by definition money is: (i) medium of transaction, (ii) a store of value, and (iii) a unit of account. Currency by definition is notes or coins. In international econ currency is also label used for different units of account eg pounds or US are currencies in international econ, but that is very niche definition in most econ currency is just notes and coins, and money must satisfy i, ii and iii satisfying them separately is not enough all 3 must hold $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 15, 2021 at 10:24

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