small urban agglomeration

closed relationships

a local "banker"






Before the Modern Age, kingdoms derived their power from agriculture and conquering; rulers needed nothing more to govern a village than a strong army and a credible priesthood.

The Tax Collectors (1520s) Oil Painting by Quentin Massys

"For a long period of time, trust was built  around closed relationships and without third parts."

Bauernfeind, Gustav - 1887 Market in Jaffa

The rise of coin

700 BC

Nearly three thousand years ago, in a remote part of Anatolia (then known as Lydia), was where the first revolution of the coin took place. Lydia was a small country lacking the agricultural output to feed the massive armies that sustained the large neighboring kingdoms of Mesopotamia. The Lydians scrounged their livings by selling jewelry and other luxury goods to the Persian Empire. In the seventh century b.C.,
the merchant kings of Lydia began using nuggets of gold and silver to trade. To mark the metal’s purity, they pressed a seal onto the surface of the nuggets, thereby flattening them slightly and inadvertently inventing coins.

The spread of the established markets, defined the need
for more practical ways of exchange validations.

With this commercial innovation, Lydia became the richest country in the classical world. Croesus, the name of the king of Lydia, was a synonym for great wealth.


Solon Before Croesus by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590 - 1656)

Ships crisscrossed the
high seas on almost every continent, building a global network of trade


The financial innovations promoted the rise of mercantile and banking families (among them the Medici), as a new social order where cleverness in business outbid prowess on the battlefield, or even the glory of a noble name. Such rearrangement gave rise to the artistic, architectural and literary expression for which the Renaissance is better remembered today than for their commercial genius.

Since that,
for centuries all economic exchanges were validated through metal halide ballasts.

The future of payment methods