"I’ve been thinking about some of the major obstacles to online collaboration, and how currency design might be able to help overcome them. As Guillaume Lebleu has pointed out, a currency can be thought of as a tool for enabling collaboration between a group of people. Markets would be unable to function without money, which provides a unit of account and a way for people to agree on the relative value of different goods and services. The ability to exchange, in turn, allows specialisation and the creation of economy: a very large, complex collaboration between millions of agents who do not necessarily know each other.
The idea that we need currencies to catalyse collaboration between people implies that, left to their own devices, they probably wouldn’t collaborate as much, if at all. Obviously though, collaboration between individuals likely existed long before the invention of money, or even writing. The anarchist Peter Kropotkin believed that “mutual aid” – the ability of a species’ members to cooperate with each other – has always been a significant factor in natural selection and evolution:"
Via Howard Rheingold