The Journey Of Currency From Barter To Bitcoin – Part 1

How has money evolved? A write up throwing light on the path from Papyrus to digital money. Get the know-how on more of it. 

How Did It All Begin 

The entire world is built on currency exchange whether its the dollar, pound, rouble, rupee, euro or Yuan, physical or digital. That means they range from barter, banknote to Bitcoin as the means of exchange which has evolved significantly. Let go through some of them.  

9000 B.C.: The Barter Begins

The first to be recorded in Egypt was bartering in 9000 B.C where farmers usually go to the market to exchange cows for sheep as grains passing through the hands of harvesters in exchange for oil. Being developed along ancient trade routes, the barter included articles of exchange becoming more sophisticated. They include Egyptian papyrus, precious stones and chariots buying exotic animals, skins and minerals from Africa and Asia. Hieroglyphics, however, show us trade was not hassle-free along with arguments over price was a common occurrence. 

600 B.C.: The World’s First Coin

Moving further up, putting ends too such arguments was the first currency recorded in the ancient kingdom of Lydia which is now a part of Turkey where the world’s first coin was displayed proudly with the head of a roaring lion on one side with simple markings on the other. As it is irregular in shape and size, the coins were made from electrum which is a naturally occurring mix of gold and silver minted according to weight with the lowest denomination weighing a meager 0.15 grams. Coins for that reason were often weighed rather than counted. 

1250 A.D.: International Trade Flourishes

Issued in Florence around1250 AD was the Florin which was a gold coin kept as a stable value for more than a century accepted across Europe and the stability played an important role in encouraging international trade on the continent.  

1290 A.D.: Banknotes Are Introduced

Travelers like Marco Polo in the 13th century introduced the concept of banknotes to Europe from China where the paper currency has been in circulation since the eleventh century. Whereas Europe was still not ready for banknotes as it took another 300 years to take off with Sweden being the earliest adopter. 

Middle-Ages: Columbus Destabilizes Currency

Causing severe inflation was the Black Death as well as the rise of counterfeit coins as prices returned to normal by the middle of the 1400s when Columbus established contact with Americans later that century with a glut of precious metals on the European market it destabilized currency for centuries. 

1871: The Start Of E-Money

Western Union built a transcontinental telephone line across America in 1861, where it was founded as the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company in 1851. Thereby after a party of Sioux warriors cutting large part of the wire to make bracelets, the pace of change was further slowed down. As some of the bracelet wearing warriors fell ill, a Sioux medicine man declared that the great spirit of the talking wire was revenging for its destruction. This made western union leave to connect the East and West coast of America with the first fund transfer via telegram taking place in 1871 where the concept of e-money was born. 

1950: The First Credit Card

Following this came the credit card created in 1950 by Frank McNamara as he found himself without enough cash to pay for dinner, the diner’s Club Card was the world’s first credit card realizing his shortfall as he reached into the pocket to pay for dinner, McNamara was forced to call his wife asking her to bring cash to the restaurant. He then vowed that this would be his last such supper. Whereas today there comes more than half of all transactions in the US and UK put on plastic thanks to McNamara's embarrassing dinner. 

To Be Continued

The write-up still has many timelines as the currency evolved to cryptocurrency as it is widely used in the world. The countries of the US, UK, as well as Europe, lead the race in building more and more of the costly cryptocurrencies built on blockchain technology. They bring in more value and a challenge for every person to build more efficient and counterproductive coins. Whereas Bitcoin leads the race, it also has the best option being a challenge for other coins that the developers mine to bring into existence. 

The next post continues to detail the lifecycle of the currency up to Bitcoin and crypto. This gives you an insight into the path of development of the currency. Starting from Egyptian papyrus to the digital currency there is more to be sought out for. 

What's Your Reaction?