Early monetary systems revolved around barter systems. Tally sticks were one
of the prolific means for recording transactions. It is rumored that one buyer
of shares in the Bank of England even used a tally stick to record the
transaction. The buyer and seller would break off a branch and carve notches on
the stick representing the trade. For example they may carve five notches to
represent five cows. The stick would be split in half and the buyer and seller
would each take a half, as the debt was paid back they would join the halves and
erase a notch.
All the religions strictly prohibited changing interest on money. Money was
clearly only a representation of a transaction to record the transaction
representing the real assets that were traded. Money allowed bartering and
exchange to occur without the good themselves. As such, someone selling chickens
could take money in exchange and purchase grain from a farmer who had no
interest in acquiring chickens, the farmer could use the money to buy a cow.
The problems with the early monetary systems was that there was no common
coin to represent the value of assets.