Do you know in the past there’s alternative money that have been used? Money has always existed in various forms.
This is 5 types of alternatives money that have been used in the past.
Who doesn’t know about gold as the type of commodity money? Most of us know that gold has a value. Throughout history, gold has always held value.
In the past, US dollar was held against ‘The Gold Standard‘ where its value was literally measured against the gold reserves USA land.
Gold can be made as commodity money. If you could store it for a really long time you don’t need to worrying if it will rust, expire or breaking down. Secondly, it is rather portable.
Gold does have some intrinsic value as a commodity. In uncertain times, when people don’t trust the Government or the monetary system, gold as a form of payment might be preferred to the local currency.
More importantly, the government can’t create gold whereas the local currency can be printed at their whim.
So, let’s buy some gold for our reserve.
It sound weird but it rather popular during wartime especially in POW camps.
Cigarettes become popular in circumstances where the value of money is absent.
In fact, cigarettes are so convenient that some POW camps in WW2 only accepted cigarettes as a form of payment.
On 17th century, rice was considered the main currency in Japan. In those days, when life is about to fill your stomach and surviving, getting salary in the form of rice actually made the most sense.
A hardworking individual whose family has excess rice can also use it to buy other goods that they need.
If you don’t know the word ‘Salary’ is actually derived from the word ‘Salt’.
During the Roman Empire, one ways soldiers were paid for their services was in the form of salt. Aside from being used as a type of seasoning or preservative, which does give it some intrinsic value, the Roman soldiers did have some intelligent economic concepts in mind when they asked to be paid in salt.
During time of war whereby there is always a shortage of supply and excess in demand, significant inflation will be present.
Rather than be paid in Denarius (a type of silver coin) only to see their purchasing power be eroded by inflation after the war, soldiers would rather be paid in commodity such as salt, which tracked inflation effectively. And because salt is able last for a really long time, the value of it did not detoriate.
Shell money has been used in the past. During 20th century some African nations still using shell money.The commodity value of shells lies in its ability to be used as a decorative ornament. It is also able to last for a long time, thus retaining its value for a long time. The shells were also intricately designed and very hard to forge, one of the reasons why the Cowrie Shell was used by more people, over a greater geographic region and over a longer period of time than precious metals have been used as money. It is also interesting to note that at one point in history, only a fool would have give up a Cowrie Shell for a gold piece.
Source :- Dollars and Sense