Evolution of Money
The introduction of money as a medium of exchange was one of the greatest inventions of mankind. Before money was invented, exchange took place by Barter, that is, commodities and services were directly exchanged for other commodities and services. Under the barter system, buyers and sellers of commodities had to face a number of difficulties. Surplus goods were exchanged for money which in turn was exchanged for other needed goods. Goods like furs, skins, salt, rice, wheat, utensils, weapons, etc. were commonly used as money. Such exchange of goods for goods was known as “Barter Exchange” or “Barter System”.
The history of Barter system starts way back in 6000 BC
Barter system was introduced by Mesopotamia tribes.
Phoenicians adopted bartering of goods with various other cities across oceans.
Babyloninan’s also developed an improved barter system, where goods were exchanged for goods.
After the barter system and commodity money system, modern money systems evolved. Among these, metallic standard is the premier one. Under metallic standard, some kind of metal either gold or silver is used to determine the standard value of the money and currency. Standard coins made out of the metal are the principal coins used under the metallic standard. These standard coins are full bodied or full weighted legal tender. Their face value is equal to their intrinsic metal value.
Gold Standard is a system in which the value of the monetary unit or the standard currency is directly linked with gold. The monetary unit is defined in terms of a certain weight of gold. The purchasing power of a unit of money is maintained equal to the value of a fixed weight of gold.
The silver standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed weight of silver. The silver standard is a monetary arrangement in which a country’s Government allows conversion of its currency into fixed amount of silver.
The paper currency standard refers to the monetary system in which the paper currency notes issued by the Treasury or the Central Bank or both circulate as unlimited legal tender. Paper currency is not convertible into any metal. Its value is determined independent of the value of gold or any other commodity. The paper standard is also known as managed currency standard. The quantity of money in circulation is controlled by the monetary authority to maintain price stability.
The latest type of money is plastic money. Plastic money is one of the most evolved forms of financial products. Plastic money is an alternative to the cash or the standard “money”. Plastic money is a term that is used predominantly in reference to the hard plastic cards used every day in place of actual bank notes. Plastic money can come in many different forms such as Cash cards, Credit cards, Debit cards, Pre-paid Cash cards, Store cards, Forex cards and Smart cards. They aim at removing the need for carrying cash to make transactions.
A digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a Central Bank.
Decentralised crypto currencies such as Bitcoin now provide an outlet for Personal Wealth that is beyond restriction and confiscation.