The Evolution of Money: From Barter trade to Crypto-currency

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3 years ago

From the beginning of mankind, money has been an essential tool for living. Money can be anything that can be tradable for goods and services, repayment of debts.

The evolution of money

In this article, I'll be showing how money came to evolve from the first payment method which is barter trading to what we have today and the future expectation of what money may be.

Barter trading

The early man sees that certain goods of same worth can be exchanged. So the idea of barter trade also called trade by barter was conceived. Barter trade is the first process of using what you have to get what you need or what you don't have.

Illustrating this with an example: Mr James is a cattle farmer and needed to buy some piece of land so as to expand his farm. He then approaches Mr Henry and offered to exchange some numbers of cattle probably 2 of them for some plot of land. If Mr Henry is pleased with the offer, he accepts, otherwise, a negotiation is made and an agreement on the quantity can be made. In barter trading, a bargain is done and an agreement is met.

Nonetheless, there are some limitations to barter trade which is that it is not easy to get the worth of a commodity that is been exchanged. This then brought about the birth of gold.


As man begins to explore the surface of the earth, mining activities came up. Man dug into the earth to seek for precious resources and stones. Gold was found as a precious material which can be used as a means of exchange after refining it. The use of gold and other precious material like diamonds was then used to pay for goods and services rendered. Because gold was common at that time, it doesn't make its worth much as we have today. This then brought the era of centralized means of payment and exchange.

Metal coin

As civilization is being introduced, people began to elect leaders who can govern them. Banks were formed and controlled by the government. This is the birth of centralized currencies. Money is now being minted into coin and the circulation and distribution is being governed.

Even in some parts of the world today, metal coins are still in use. A disadvantage that the metal coin has is the inability to take large quantities around with ease. This then led to the making of paper money.

Paper money

Now, we are in the current situation of the evolution of money. Paper money solved some problems attached with the metal coin. They are centralized currencies as we can see different currencies like the United States Dollar (USD), Euro, Great British Pounds, Nigerian Naira (NGN) and so on. The paper money of any country's currency is produced in different denominations as the metal coin was too. Here, the actual worth of goods and services can be valued through the use of paper money.

Plastic cards and electronic money

As time goes on, people needed to send and receive money conveniently, pay for goods and services without actually moving with cash.

Plastic cards are designed by different banks so that funds owners can have access to their money virtually. Electronic ways of sending money with the use of an online account data was also introduced and being widely used today. Sending and receiving payment from one country to another is also made available as currency exchange can be done.


Crypto-currencies are digital assets which came to existence in 2009 with the first one known as Bitcoin ( BTC). Now, there are thousands of Altcoin in existence. Crypto-currency is decentralized, that is, it isn't controlled by any centralized body nor government or bank but by the users. Crypto-currencies transactions are transparent with the use blockchain. It allows for instant peer to peer sending with low or no fees. It uses a digital mobile wallet to operate.

Crypo is already changing the world of money positively and other evolution of money cannot erase crypto-currency.

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3 years ago


useful info thank you for posting

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3 years ago

It is really amazing how time transforms society financially. Barter trade is so common here in the Philippines before, i can still remember my grandparents talk about it.

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3 years ago

vary intresting article dare & helpful

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3 years ago