Money has played a critical role in human civilization for thousands of years. Over time, the forms of money have evolved from bartering to commodity-based money, fiat currency, and now, cryptocurrency. In this article, we will explore the history of money from fiat to cryptocurrency.

How did money evolve?

How did money evolve?

Money has progressed from basic barter goods to cryptocurrency. Money arose as a tool of promoting commerce and collaboration between strangers. As human communities expanded and became more complicated, the necessity for a common medium of transaction became more pressing.

From a realist political standpoint, notions like value and ownership have always played a role in human relations. The early forms of money were barter items like stones and animals. These items were used to assist commerce and were valued according to their use, scarcity, demand, and supply.

Following the agricultural revolution, bigger human settlements and the propertization of humans’ surrounding environment gave rise to concepts such as the economy, commerce, and, ultimately, money. Commodity money dates back to ancient civilizations, when items were employed as cash. The introduction of metal currency as a new medium of trade, on the other hand, had a tremendous influence on the evolution of money.

Fiat Currency:

Fiat currency is paper money that is not backed by any physical commodity like gold or silver. Fiat currency derives its value from government regulation and the public’s trust in the currency’s stability. The history of fiat currency can be traced back to the 17th century in Europe. The first fiat currency was issued in China during the Song Dynasty in the 10th century. Fiat currency became the dominant form of currency in the 20th century with the abandonment of the gold standard.

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Commodity-Based Money:

Commodity-based money is currency that is backed by a physical commodity like gold, silver, or other precious metals. The value of commodity-based money is directly tied to the value of the underlying commodity. Commodity-based money was used in ancient times and was prevalent until the 20th century. The gold standard was a system in which the value of the currency was fixed to a specific amount of gold. The gold standard was widely used until the 1970s.


Bartering is the exchange of goods or services for other goods or services. Bartering was the earliest form of trade and was prevalent in ancient civilizations. Bartering was based on the principle of exchanging one item for another item of equal value. Bartering was difficult to carry out on a large scale because it required a double coincidence of wants.


Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography for security and operates independently of a central bank. The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created in 2009 by an unknown person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and operate on a blockchain, which is a public ledger that records all transactions. The value of cryptocurrency is determined by supply and demand in the market.


The history of money is a fascinating subject that has evolved over time from bartering to commodity-based money, fiat currency, and now, cryptocurrency. Each form of money has its advantages and disadvantages. Fiat currency is widely used today and is backed by the government’s regulation and the public’s trust. Cryptocurrency is a new form of money that operates independently of a central bank and is based on a decentralized system. As technology continues to advance, the future of money is likely to evolve even further, with new forms of digital currencies emerging