Today, most currencies are electronic, flowing over the Internet from banks to businesses and even inside and outside the Federal Reserve. But, of course, that hasn’t always been the case. Before the Internet, even before the telegraph, before the idea of money itself, various modes and technologies had to be invented so that mankind could develop methods of fair trade, compensation and reimbursement. Before money modes were developed, barter was the most common way for acquaintances to exchange goods and services; the two parties involved had to agree on the intrinsic value of what was to be exchanged.
Early humans probably traded directly, bartering freshly gathered or hunted food for help in chopping wood or other desirable goods and services. In some civilizations, forms of currency included shells and stones, including the massive and collective rai stones of the island nation of Yap and the almost sacred consideration given to cowries in west Africa. Coins emerged as a means of transporting precious metals in a standardized measure, and later simply base metals that were durable in the market.
As societies have evolved over time, fintech has been developed to keep pace not only with population growth, but also with the advent of new and dynamic forms of business and commerce. Many such developments have effectively begun to replace the need for face-to-face financial transactions, instead using communication networks to move and transfer money with very little human intervention.
The global society continues to invent new ways to manage its financial exchanges. In 50 or 100 years, there may be new forms of monetary transactions that we cannot even imagine today. MoneyTransfers.com has compiled a history of how humans have exchanged money throughout history, from banknotes and wire transfers to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.