Mussels, teeth, gold nuggets… there was no limit to inventiveness at that time to find a general means of exchange for goods of any kind. It was not until around 2,700 years ago that a revolutionary idea began which spread worldwide centuries later: embossed gold discs. Here, as today with the security features of our paper-based means of payment, minting was intended to identify the coin as a “genuine” precious metal.
The first banknote
After buying and selling became much easier, the next challenge came for the owners: transport. Above all, merchants usually had to transport heavy money bags from one market to another together with their goods. From the 10th century onwards, it was therefore possible in China for merchants to store their coins with the government against a receipt paper. The first banknotes were issued!
Distribution of banknotes in Europe
It was only about 600 years later that the procedure with receipt papers gained a foothold in Europe. In 1833, the English government declared banknotes to be legal tender, thus creating the population’s constant trust in paper money, which was of great value for technical progress at the time of industrialisation.- Maxim Bederov
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