Understanding Bitcoins: Facts and Questions


The need for exchange is an ancient human characteristic. Since prehistoric times, trading of goods for
another goods, services for goods or services for services was present in human endeavor. However,
with the increase on the commerce and the exchange needs, the barter become less efficient.
It is known, because of Homer, that silver weights made the exchange easier on the Hellenic civilization, circa IX B.C. According to Passos and Nogami (2003), “the metals were the goods which attributes
are closer than those expected for the monetary instruments”. Nevertheless, even that system became
obsolete after sometime—it was necessary to weight a lot of times to get the value of the ingots, creating difficulties to the official payments, to levy and to commerce itself. Under those circumstances, it
was created a “precious metal disk, with a certain specific draw and weight”.1



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