A brief history of money.
Cruzlaw love a bit of history so in a change to our normal programming I delved into the history books to look at money. The “root of all evil” apparently? This is the most oft quoted phrase but there is another I quite like. “Every time you borrow money you are robbing your future self.” True to be fair but without borrowing at some point how would we ever move up the ladder? To history.
The first known “currency” was created by King Alyattes in Lydia, now part of Turkey, in 600BC. Prior to this as far back as 9000BC it was bartering, the first recorded bartering was made by the Egyptians, with things like grain or cattle being the most popular. Although money you could eat might be a a bit problematic. The Chinese used to trade using small bronze replicas of the goods they were selling (1100BC) about 100 hundred years before this in India they used “cowrie” shells. Real coins appeared via King Alyattes, his coins featured a roaring lion they were hardly round and roughly cut the rough coins slowly became rounded and more standard and they helped trade flourish across the Mediterranean.
Coins then evolved into bank notes or paper money and was used first by the Chinese. The travels of Marco Polo brought this idea to Europe in 1290AD but paper didn’t really catch on for another 600 years until 1661AD. There the world stayed until the mid 19C.
Western Union, yes that Western Union, first used the electronic fund transfer via telegram in 1860 which was a huge step in financial transactions. However it took another 86 years to develop the first credit card, introduced in 1946. The Millennium saw the most innovation. After the introduction of simple mobile phones in 1999 banks offered mobile banking in UK contactless payments started in 2008 and beyond 2014 to the present we have had smarter phones with ever greater banking applications. Trialled wearable contactless wristbands by Barclaycard, Apple Pay, Google Pay and the emergence of Bitcoin followed by several thousand other types of cryptocurrency.
It is interesting however to note that history has come full circle with “Bartercard” which is a platform where businesses can barter services and surplus goods world-wide.