The evolution of money

Money, which runs the world’s economy, and everyone’s life in one way or the other, has gone through very many phases — from animals to crops to cowrie shells, stones and even leather products. Gradually, on the exchange scene appeared coins – copper, silver and gold — paper money, digital money and now fast forward to 2018, Bit coins, Lite coins and all other sorts of currencies aided by technology.

In Micronesia, Rai stones were quarried on several of the Micronesian islands, mainly Palau, but briefly on Guam as well, and transported for use as money to the island of Yap. They have been used in trade by the Yapese as a form of currency.

Once bought, everyone knew the rai was yours and kept away from it.  If another person bought the same rai, they would know who it belonged to and would not move it as it was way too huge for transportation. Animal parts such as Dolphin teeth in the Solomon Islands and animal fur also had their moments of fame on the monetary scene.

You probably have never heard about these currencies but believe me, back in the day they were the thing to guard jealously.

‘History repeats itself’ is an old-age statement that is clearly evident in how money and the value attached to it keeps transforming.  Take for instance in Mexico, you can do a barter trade with the Nike company by simply recording your energy consuming activities such as walking; and also how many calories you burn. In exchange, you can receive Nike goods worthy or your efforts. However, there is a catch; you must use only Nike products for this barter trade to be realised.  How innovative is that?

Starbucks is another company that allows you to earn stars by using a Star card when you visit their various shops. The earned stars can then later be exchanged for a drink or food. If that is not barter trade then what is it? Sadly, lately, human beings are also being bartered for money; in the form of kidnaps in exchange for a ransom.

How is it possible for us to attach so much value to something that keeps evolving endlessly?  Lives are spent accumulating wealth and then lost before this money has achieved its goal. Relationships are shattered; homes are destroyed and precious human beings are degraded to nothing all because money determines their worth. How did we get to this point?


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