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Chapter 3. The History of Forex (and Why... > The Roots of Modern Currency

The Roots of Modern Currency

Forget the idea that currency is a piece of colored paper with a picture of someone famous on it. Paper money as it now exists is a relatively new concept, and it probably won't survive our lifetimes. In cultural and historical terms, currency is something that any group mutually recognizes as valuable.

For example, the Aztecs prized cacao beans, which were used to make a delicious chocolate drink. Part of the beans' value derived from the fact that they were also practical. They could be transported relatively easily, were uniform, and made bartering simpler. If a trade was uneven, a merchant could throw in a scoop or two of beans.


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