History of Money Institution Affiliation: Date: Exchange transactions have been observed since time immemorial. Communities and societies have always engaged in some kind of exchange, with or without factoring in the concept of money…
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By definition, money is referred to as anything of value that can be used as a medium of exchange (Weatherford, 2009). This is to say that money is that what is used to pay for goods and/or services. This can also take the form of repaying debts at an individual, corporate, or government level. The history of money is highly built on the need to establish a streamlined exchange medium, thus the observed shift from barter trade to the development of contemporary currencies. The history of money makes vital reference to barter trade and barter economies. In many historical barter economies, goods and services were exchanged for other goods and services (Walthall, 2006). However, this form of trade had operational challenges due to the fact that transacting parties had to match their needs or wants in order to trade. Such economies lacked a central exchange medium, but there transactions at the time would fundamentally shape the history of money. At the height of barter trade, the emergence of money started being realized. The introduction of shells, stones, beads, and fur as money was observed (Walthall, 2006). The acknowledgement of these things as money revolutionized exchange transactions within and across communities. Business and commerce emerged for people would accumulate the now acknowledged type of money. This followed difficulties in barter trade to have for example a farmer exchange his/her produce with a blacksmith. The introduction of forms of money now allowed traders and people in general to obtain goods and services without necessary having to engage in barter trade. Development of money along its rich history eventually saw the introduction of coin money. Precious metals became the central focus as far as development of money was concerned. Gold, silver, and bronze among other metals were shaped into coins that were easy to carry and transact with. From around 1000 B.C onwards, the use of coin money increased and many societies quickly welcomed this new development (Del Mar, 2004). In the 11th century, paper money came into the picture and was produced for use in China (Del Mar, 2004). This marked the extensive spread of money within and across all continents. Eventually, bank notes and coins were adopted all over the world, thus becoming the central exchange medium for domestic and international exchanges. In the United States, the use of paper bills dubbed “greenbacks” was actualized in the year 1861 (Weatherford, 2009). The emergence and development of money was aligned with the fall of civilization around the world. Asia, Europe, and America were the leading factors of civilization. When it came to the development and use of money, they as well led the course. Civilization subject to the money factor had its positive and negative effects. Money essentially made different civilizations realize that wealth could be stored in form of money. Wealth accumulation took its toll, with many civilizations seeking to dominate this course. Before long, money would be a differential factor in many societies and countries at large. Notably, money contributed and still contributes in enhancing civilization of societies. Although money has critically divided rich and poor civilizations, it has made exchange transactions easy, efficient, and effective. Over and above this, the shift from barter economies to contemporary currency-driven economies has resulted in enormous currency issues. Different economies want to maintain independent
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