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Bitcoin | Cryptocurrency | History of Currency


This is a Bitcoin introductory article that will give you a brief overview of History of Currency as well. The word Bitcoin is quite common in news even for the layman. It is a new type of currency that is being taken as future of currency. We normally use currency notes as money to exchanges things. That is evolved shape of coins and now cryptographic currencies are going to take its place. Let’s understand what bitcoin is and how currencies age get evolved to this form.

What is Currency?

So first of all what is currency, generally speaking, currency is something being circulation in masses as the medium of exchange things. Nowadays different countries have their own currencies like rupees in Pakistan or dollar in the USA even there are some regional currencies that act as formal currency to a group of countries like Euro which is official currency of many European countries. 
 
History of Currency
 
If we dive into the history of mankind to understand the evolution of medium of exchange, we would found that there were no paper currency or coin there. There was barter system in which people get one thing in exchange for another thing. 

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Barter System

At the start of human civilization, barter system was used in place of money. It means things were exchanged other things.
In the Paleolithic era (early Stone Age) hunted animal remaining and stock of naturally growing food like fruit were used in barter. 
Mesolithic era (middle stone age) domestic cattle were mostly used in barter. Vegetable and grains were included in barter commodities in Neolithic era (New Stone age).
In the Bronze Age tools and weapons were added in barter commodities. 
 

First Coin in History

The first modern currency was used about 2600 years ago (600BC) by king of Lydia, Lydia was a kingdom in Asia Minor (the area that is part of Asian Turkey now). The first coins used by Lydian’s were not made of gold or silver but an alloy of both these metals that is called electrum. These coins were with a roaring lion at one side. Soon Chinese too started using coins. 

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Lydia (First coin)

Cowrie Shells as Currency

For some time cowrie shells were also used as currency in Indian Ocean coastal region from 11th to 13th century, centuries later cowries shell were used as currency in Africa as well.

First Paper Money in History

Though paper money was introduced in in west in 17th centuries, the Chinese had used it hundreds of years ago during the era of Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD) in the shape of bills of credit and exchange notes etc. They used it for about five centuries when they quit it after some financial crisis and later after many centuries again resumed using it. 
 
Paper notes in were introduced in 1661 AD. The British pound is the oldest currency that is still in use whereas South Sudanese pound is newest one.

Electronic Money

Money as the electronic form came into the market in 1860 AD in the shape of electronic fund transfer that was made possible by Western Union Company.

First Credit cards

Credit cards were introduced in 1946. In the late 20th century ATMs have come in the scene. 

Bitcoin

Now in the first quarter of 21st century, cryptographic currencies have come into the market, among that bitcoin is the leading one. Cryptocurrencies are digital/virtual currencies which use cryptography for security. In contrast of common currencies that are being used nowadays bitcoin is not backed by any state nor does it have any physical coin representation that is commonly accepted. As it is a digital currency it is stored in software wallets and it exists out of banking infrastructure. It is illegal in more than half dozen countries. 
 

Characteristics of Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin was introduced in 2009
  • The Inventor of bitcoin is unknown.
  • Money transfer using bitcoin is instant.
  • Losing bitcoin wallet/private key lose your bitcoins forever even they become unused for everyone
  • Bitcoins are intangible
  • The number of possible bitcoins are finite, 80% of those have been mined, and others are intended to be mined in 2140.
  • Normal currencies have some face value that is printed on them, but there is no face or inhere t value of bitcoin 
  • Bitcoin transactions are irreversible
  • As we see earlier bitcoins are not backed by any state even not controlled by any single entity
  • Bitcoin satisfy some characteristics of both currency and commodities
For more interesting facts about money please visit Fun Facts about Money. To know current currencies in the world please visit Currency of Countries. We are hopeful, you have liked "History of Currency" article. 

 

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