The changing nature of money 不斷更新演變的貨幣

How will money change in the future? Will we say goodbye to cash and credit cards?
hat is the future of money?

574

有人說金錢能推動世界運轉。作為交易中不可缺少的一環,“錢”這一概念將會怎樣改變?從以物易物式的古老經濟制度到如今使用現金、信用卡、甚至是網絡虛擬貨幣等支付手段,人們對金錢的定義和理解在不斷地更新。本集《隨身英語》展望並探討貨幣本質的演變過程和前景。

課文內容

Vocabulary: Money 詞彙: 貨幣

How do you pay for things in a shop? Perhaps you like the tangible reliability of hard cash? Maybe the financial flexibility of a credit card suits you better? Or perhaps you prefer the simple convenience of a smartphone?

Whatever you use today, experts believe all these methods could soon become outdated. Instead, we will use our bodies: our eyes, our fingerprints, even our mere presence in the store. In fact it’s happening already. Amazon are trialling stores which have no checkouts, where technology tracks the items you’ve taken from the shelves and deducts the total from your account when you leave the shop.

French supermarket Monoprix takes a different path: you choose your groceries and leave them with a human cashier. You then leave the shop while the cashier tallies up your bill, charges your account, and organises delivery to your home.

Amir Sajed, chief executive of Barclaycard, told the BBC that such new developments spell the end of the plastic credit card. Instead, wearable items such as rings, bracelets and keychains will carry chips that allow shoppers to “seamlessly shop, going between the web, an app or in store,” he says.

And while all the above payment methods are underpinned by accounts held in traditional currencies, let’s not forget the rise of alternatives such as Litecoin. Such virtual currencies can rise in value very quickly, but are also susceptible to crashes and threats from hackers. Who knows, perhaps something totally new will take off that changes money as we know it? One such possibility is explored in the movie In Time. It imagines a futuristic society in which the currency is time itself, where people trade the amount of time they have left to live.

Or perhaps we’d do better to wind back the clock to the simpler financial world of the barter economy. While the term conjures images of sacks of grain and herds of sheep being exchanged in ancient times, there are signs that bartering is making a comeback in today’s world of modern technology. Startup Let’s Barter India has developed an app which facilitates the exchange of goods, and already has around 100,000 members.

Maybe the only thing we know for certain is that money will keep evolving.

詞彙表

tangible 可觸摸的
hard cash 現金(包括硬幣和紙鈔)
outdated 過時的
checkout 付款台
groceries 雜貨食品(常用複數)
cashier 收銀員
to tally up 結算
to spell 意味著(不好的後果)
wearable 可穿戴的
chip 晶片
seamlessly 不間斷地
to underpin 支持、構成
virtual currency 虛擬貨幣
crash 系統癱瘓
to take off 突然成功
to wind back the clock / to wind the clock back 讓時光倒流,回到過去
barter economy 以物易物的經濟制度
to conjure 讓人聯想到(某個畫面或情境)
to make a comeback 再度興起,回歸

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What does Amir Sajed believe will happen to credit cards in the future? 

2. What currency is used in the movie In Time?

3. Why might customers find shopping at Monoprix convenient and efficient?

4. Which word means ‘vulnerable’?

5. True or false: Bartering has a long history.


2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. Fashion from the 1930s is ______. All the best designers are using it as inspiration again. 

making a comeback      crashing      winding the clock back      outdated 

2. I ______ my old bike for a couple of tennis rackets.

checked out      conjured      bartered      tallied up

3. I always prefer to use ______. I just don’t trust banks.

wearable technology      cashiers      hard cash      credit cards

4. On my 60th birthday party I wound ______ and played all my favourite old music.

the clock      the clock back      back clock      wind the clock back

5. For me, the Sahara Desert ______ images of camels, oases and unbearable heat.

underpins      spells      creates      conjures

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What does Amir Sajed believe will happen to credit cards in the future? 

Amir Sajed believes that technological developments will mean the end of the plastic credit card. He thinks cards will be replaced by wearable items.

2. What currency is used in the movie In Time?

In the movie In Time, the currency is time itself.

3. Why might customers find shopping at Monoprix convenient and efficient?

Customers don’t need to wait for items to be tallied up by the cashier; they also receive home delivery.

4. Which word means ‘vulnerable’?

Susceptible.

5. True or false: Bartering has a long history.

True. The barter economy existed in ancient times.

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. Fashion from the 1930s is making a comeback. All the best designers are using it as inspiration again.

2. I bartered my old bike for a couple of tennis rackets.

3. I always prefer to use hard cash. I just don’t trust banks.

4. On my 60th birthday party I wound the clock back and played all my favourite old music.

5. For me, the Sahara Desert conjures images of camels, oases and unbearable heat.

下載

下載文字稿
下載聲音檔