The Future of Money against Alternatives

Money as we understand it today is the financial means to trade in goods and services. But how did money evolve in the past and how is it shaping up today? For that we need to look at a little history.

When mankind attained some sanity they started to cultivate for food. Man used to make their own houses and own clothes from animal skin. Self dependency was the goal. Some people realized that they are adept at doing some things more skillfully. This resulted in a new era where people took up specialized work and they used to barter their services to others.

The way it used to work was, a person skilled in making a house would barter his service (build house) to a person cultivating for poultry or meat or something similar. Then came the metal age and people started using metals as a token for value to trade in goods. Metal took the shape of coins. And soon it was realized that Gold and Silver are the most precious of metals [for the simple reason that they were more scarce than the rest of the metals].

Civilization was growing day and night and everyday money was founding new meaning. People started looking for a much lighter way to trade than metal. They substituted metal with Paper [Currency notes]. Currency notes were backed by Gold [and still in most of the countries. US is an exception]. People were wary of currency notes and they found a much better way, the plastic money [Debit/ Credit Cards]. Plastic money came into being simply because it was much more secure than currency notes.

Can a glimpse into the past foretell what is the fate for money in the future? There are many alternatives available in front of today that are gaining significance. I am trying to list them here,

(A) Electronic Money [Electronic Banking/ Paypal]
(B) Barter [EBAY/ Auction Sites]
(C) Plastic Money

So which one will gain significance over the time. Barter is a good way, but it is very difficult to associate two very different things a quantitative value to trade in.

Plastic Money is good but than it has an equivalent fight from Electronic money as well. The bigger question here is can Electronic Money replace Plastic Money in retail stores? This is something that only time can tell, but it will be very interesting to see what is the future of money.