Technology
Technology

From Cattle to Cryptocurrency: Offcloud’s History of Money (Part 1)

What is money? From 9,000 B.C. to the 21st Century, money has taken various forms. While many of us know how to earn it, and many more are masters of spending it, not many of us know how money came about and evolved over the centuries. Here is a brief look of the evolution of money from cattle to cryptocurrency.


What is money? From 9,000 B.C. to the 21st Century, money has taken various forms. While many of us know how to earn it, and many more are masters of spending it, not many of us know how money came about and evolved over the centuries. Here is a brief look of the evolution of money from cattle to cryptocurrency.

Cattle

Need is the mother of all inventions. Money, one of the most significant inventions that fostered civilization, was invented to answer the need to facilitate bartering or the exchange of goods.

Livestock, being valuable in those olden days, have been used as mediums of exchange. Therefore, cattle, which historically included not only cows but also sheep, camels, and other livestock, is probably the oldest of all forms of money used since 9000 B.C.

Cowrie shells

While the use of cattle facilitated the exchange of goods, it posed several problems such as portability, availability and divisibility. Now, the new need for currency to address all these gave birth to the use of shells.

Around 1200 B.C., shells as money were first introduced and used in China. They used shells of a mollusk, called cowrie, which were vastly available in the shallow waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Hence, they have also been used is some parts of Africa. Because they are readily available, this became the most widely used currency in history.

Coins in chains

Sometime around 1000 B.C. China, toward the end of the Stone Age, the Chinese began to develop a technology for crafting metals. As they mastered newfound techniques, they began making metal tools, such as knives and spades, which became acceptable currency when trading.

The convenience to carry monies around became another need to address. So the Chinese also made metal imitations of cowrie using bronze and copper. The Chinese smartly manufactured other versions of coins with holes so they could easily strings them together like a chain to conveniently carry around.

For Part 1 of this blog series, we have just learned about the first form of money up to the earliest predecessors of the modern-day metal coins that we still use today. In Part 2, we will learn about the development of the coins up to the introduction, use and decline of paper money.

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You can do all this with a free account, too, giving you the opportunity to really try out the service before deciding to make a financial commitment to a bigger package with extra features! You’ll receive 10GB of storage space and 100 direct download links, so why not give us a go?


Offcloud.com is a cloud-based download manager that lets you fetch, unlock or speed up any content found on the web directly to your device or to some cloud storage space.