Was reminded of an old post of mine that I really liked. Relevant excerpt:
While all money can be analogized to a kind of societal debt (and that's true whether you're talking about dollars, or Bitcoin, or gold), fiat is literally debt. Note, for starters, that the dollar used to be backed by and redeemable for gold; it was an IOU for another IOU. But then the U.S. government defaulted on its gold obligations. So now the dollar is a defaulted-on IOU for another IOU. But it's worse than that. Because the majority of "dollars" in today's fractional-reserve system are really just IOUs for units of the base money supply. And because banks "borrow short and lend long," they're always technically insolvent. So, in summary, the modern dollar is an IOU from a structurally insolvent organization ... for a defaulted-on IOU ... for another IOU. "Yo dawg, I heard you like IOUs..."