This article by Chapurukha Kusimba talks about when and why people started using money. People didn’t always pay for things with coins and paper bills like they do today, but instead they made deals with each other by giving the other party an item they wanted. One example of this is back in the Upper Paleolithic time period when groups of hunter would trade each other tools and weapons. Over time currency has evolved a lot it started out with natural objects to coins to paper and finally into digital versions. But even though currency has evolved humans have always used it as a means of exchange, a method of payment, a standard of value, a store of value, a store of wealth and a unit of account. The origin of money is hard to trace mostly because of how many functions it had, but evidence suggests that it emerged from gift exchanges and debt repayment. Before the time of coins and paper bills people would use objects that occurred rarely in nature. An example of this is Copper, meteorites, iron, obsidian, amber, gold, etc. people even used animals as a form of currency. The first known form of currency was the Mesopotamian shekel and it first emerged nearly 5,000 years ago. The discovery of coins and valuable metals all over the globe suggests that coinage was recognized as a medium of commodity money at the beginning of the first millennium A.D. The reason that coinage is successful is because of its portability, durability, transportation, and inherit value. Money was also used for political control for example they could tax it and use the tax to support the military, they could also use it to stop violent exchanges of goods and services. Money also acted as a record for remembering a transaction or interaction. For example , medieval Europeans would use tally sticks as a way to remember debt.
In the past money also helped people from different groups to interact with each other. People would pay others to help move resources, reduces risks and create alliances in response to social and political conditions. History has shown us that money is a double-edged sword: it helped enable the movement of goods and services, migration, and settlements among strangers. It also helped make some countries rich and help them develop faster. The bad part of money is how much it differentiates the rich and poor the developed and undeveloped. Even though currency keeps evolving it is still used for the same reason it was created.
I think what Kusimba is trying to say in this article is that money has always been a big part of history and our culture and the things that came out of it may be good but other things may not be so great. Kusimba then ends it off by saying that while currency has changed in looks over time it is still being used the same.
Written by Long Cao: Word count – 489 (without header of text below)
The link below is if you want to learn more about the history of money
The link below is if you wanted to know the function of money (facilitates exchange in the economy), what we would do if money didn’t exist (we would have to trade for everything we wanted), it also tells you about digital forms of currency that exist today (ex. Bitcoin, Ethereum) and what makes them so popular, and at the bottom of the page it has a 2 minute video that describes what money is (Good video for people who learn things visually).