History of Money

  • Sarah SwammyEmail author
  • Richard Thompson
  • Marvin Loh


Money has been around for a long time, and some would argue since the beginning of time. Money is so common that everyone has experience with it and likely interacts with it on a daily basis. This familiarity does not, however, mean that money is universally understood. The International Monetary Fund describes money as anything that serves as a
  1. (1)

    Store of Value, which means people can save it and use it later

  2. (2)

    Unit of Account, that is, it provides a common base for prices

  3. (3)

    Medium of Exchange, something that enables people to buy and sell from one another


While crypto currencies do not necessarily meet all of the definitional requirements at the moment, they do represent a natural evolution of money. Additionally, many of the most appealing aspects of crypto currencies attempt to address many of the issues that have plagued money throughout history.


History of money Barter Coins Shell money E-payments Cashless society 


  1. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Accessed 16 June 2018.
  2. Smith, Adams. 1776. “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” Cannan ed.Google Scholar
  3. United States Census Bureau, Accessed 16 June 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Street Global Market, LLCNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Digital Air TechnologiesNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Bank of New York MellonNew YorkUSA

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