A look at some money alternatives

Money has been playing an important role in our everyday lives. It is almost impossible to spend a day without spending any money for food or travelling somewhere. There was a time when everyone was walking around with cash in their pockets, however, technological advancements have made the payment process more convenient. We do not even have to take our wallets while going out, payments can be executed from our mobile phones.

As we have already come up with the idea, that the payments should be more simplified and should require less energy and time to increase efficiency, the creation and usage of digital currencies have been quite popular all around the world. It is too early to talk about the full replacement of fiat currencies, as the trust in digital currencies is not at the same level as it should be in order to make them the mainstream currency. However, the effort that is put into the implementation of bitcoin and other digital currencies in many different services, proves the readiness for something new. It will not be a surprise to some people if one day, fiat currencies will lose their meaning and will be used as an additional currency, as we have already seen that money has always existed in many different forms, and the future changes will not be exceptional.

Gold

Gold is one of the most well-known and massively used commodities which does not require rocket science to understand its meaning and how it was used as an exchange asset. The value of the dollar in the US was fixed to the gold standard, meaning that it was measured against the reserve of gold the country was holding at that time.

There are several advantages of gold, in order to consider it as a valuable asset in the mind of some advocates. Firstly, it can be stored for hundreds of years, as it does not have an expiration date. Second of all, it is easy and portable, since the coins can be carried around in our coins and can make payments for either goods or services.

Other than that, the intrinsic value of gold should also be mentioned. Gold is still massively used for jewelry and electronic parts. During the economic uncertainty, gold can sometimes be more preferred to execute the payment and the government cannot intervene in its creation, while in the case of money, they are printed at their whim.

Nowadays, financial activities could be considered to be way more complicated than previously, when we were using gold coins as payment methods. As it was mentioned above, the financial market is advancing in its development and the technologies allowed us to create the source of payment without existing in real shape. As we had to adapt from one payment source to another, for example, from gold coins to paper money, the same way people think that in the near future we will adapt to the virtual currency. This is why the demand for the different financial services is increasing dramatically, for example, even during the global pandemic people searching for the top forex brokers, crypto brokerage companies, or platforms for stock trading in order to trade in the markets.

Cigarettes

POW camps and war times are the places where cigarettes could have held more valuable meaning, than the gold or money, itself. This is the time when the value of money is absent and does not have that competitive meaning as in real-time. Why would the soldiers need cash on the battlefield, where they cannot purchase anything? In this case, the barter system is created and non-smokers exchange their cigarette entitlements with the ones who want to smoke more. Or even, extra cigarettes can be used the same way as the gold coins, to be the item you do not have but require. No matter how surprising it might be, in WW2 POW camps were receiving only cigarette payments.

Rice

The payments by rice in Japan depict the importance of it in Asian culture. It was quite astute to use the rice as a payment method, due to the fact that during the wintertime, the food was utterly difficult to find, to provide for the family. The family that was actually holding the excessive amount of rice could exchange it for another good that they were in need of. In the hypothetical scenario, when the country is at war and the food supply is limited, some people could prefer rice over BTC on their e-wallets.

Salt

The actual word “salary” is extracted from the word “Salt”. The Roman Empire was vigorously paying its soldiers in the form of salt for their dedication. Wartime is a general period when the shortage of supply and excess in demand meet each other. It was easier by salt to track the inflation rate, rather than being paid in Denarius.

Shell money

Shell money was massively used in the past on almost every continent. Moreover, the African nations were still using shells as a payment method or a way to exchange the goods in the early 20th century.

If we want to talk about the commodity value of the shells, it is generally a decorative ornament and it can be kept for a long-lasted period. One of the most popular and valuable shells was the Cowrie Shell that was kept for a longer period than the other precious metals. Some people would even give up a Cowrie Shell for a gold piece.

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