Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming platform that provides DRM-protected music and podcasts from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements or automatic music videos, while additional features, such as improved streaming quality, are offered via paid subscriptions. Launched by Spotify AB on 7 October 2008, Spotify provides access to over forty million tracks. Users can browse by parameters such as artist, album, or genre, can create and share playlists. Spotify is available in most of Europe and the Americas, New Zealand, parts of Africa and Asia, on most modern devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux computers, iOS, Windows Phone, Android smartphones and tablets; as of February 2019, it had 207 million monthly active users, including 96 million paying subscribers. Unlike physical or download sales, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays royalties based on the number of artists' streams as a proportion of total songs streamed.
It distributes 70% of total revenue to rights holders, who pay artists based on their individual agreements. Spotify has faced criticism from artists and producers including Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke, who have argued that it does not compensate musicians. In 2017, as part of its efforts to renegotiate license deals for an interest in going public, Spotify announced that artists would be able to make albums temporarily exclusive to paid subscriptions if they are part of Universal Music Group or the Merlin Network. Spotify AB is headquartered in Sweden. Since February 2018 it has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In September 2018, the company moved its New York offices to 4 World Trade Center. Spotify operates under a freemium business model. Spotify generates revenues by selling premium streaming subscriptions to users and advertising placements to third parties. In December 2013, the company launched a new website, "Spotify for Artists", that explained its business model and revenue data.
Spotify gets its content from major record labels as well as independent artists, pays copyright holders royalties for streamed music. The company pays 70% of its total revenue to rights holders. Spotify for Artists states that the company does not have a fixed per-play rate, instead considers factors such as the user's home country and the individual artist's royalty rate. Rights holders received an average per-play payout between $.006 and $.0084. Spotify offers an unlimited subscription package, close to the Open Music Model —estimated economic equilibrium—for the recording industry. However, the incorporation of digital rights management protection diverges from the OMM and competitors such as iTunes Store and Amazon Music that have dropped DRM. Spotify encourages people to pay with subscriptions as its main revenue source; the subscription removes advertisements and limits, increases song bitrates to 320 kbit/s. For example, in Norway, the figure of 1.2 billion unauthorized song downloads in 2008 is compared to a figure of 210 million from 2012.
BBC Music Week editor Tim Ingham wrote: "Unlike buying a CD or download, streaming is not a one-off payment. Hundreds of millions of streams of tracks are happening each and every day, which multiplies the potential revenues on offer – and is a constant long-term source of income for artists." As of November 2018, the three Spotify subscription types, all offering unlimited listening time, are: In March 2014, Spotify introduced a new, discounted Premium subscription tier for students. Students in the United States enrolled in a university can pay half-price for a Premium subscription. In April 2017, the Students offer was expanded to 33 more countries. Spotify introduced its Family subscription in October 2014, connecting up to five family members for a shared Premium subscription. Spotify Family was upgraded in May 2016, letting up to six people share a subscription and reducing the price. In November 2018, Spotify announced it is opening up Spotify Connect to all of the users using its Free service, however these changes still required products supporting Spotify Connect to support the latest SDK.
In 2007, just after launch, the company made a loss of 31.8 million Swedish kronor. In October 2010, Wired reported that Spotify was making more money for labels in Sweden than any other retailer "online or off". Years after growth and expansion, a November 2012 report suggested strong momentum for the company. In 2011, it reported a near US$60 million net loss from revenue of $244 million, while it was expected to generate a net loss of $40 million from revenue of $500 million in 2012. Another source of income was music purchases from within the app; this service was removed in January 2013. In May 2016, Spotify announced "Sponsored Playlists", a monetisation opportunity in which brands are able to specify the audiences they have in mind, with Spotify matching the marketer with suitable music in a playlist; that September, Spotify announced. In June 2017, as part of renegotiated licenses with Universal Music Group and Merlin Network, Spotify's financial filings revealed its agreement to pay more than $2 billion in minimum payments over the next two years.
As of 2017, Spotify was not yet a profitable company. In February 2010, Spotify received a small investment from Founders Fund, where board member Sean Parker was recruited to assist Spotify in "winning the labels over in the world's largest music market". In June 2011, Spotify secured $100 million of funding, planned to use this to support its US launch; the new round of funding valued the company at $1 billio
The Economist is an English-language weekly magazine-format newspaper owned by the Economist Group and edited at offices in London. Continuous publication began under its founder James Wilson in September 1843. In 2015, its average weekly circulation was a little over 1.5 million, about half of which were sold in the United States. Pearson PLC held a 50% shareholding via The Financial Times Limited until August 2015. At that time, Pearson sold their share in the Economist; the Agnelli family's Exor paid £287m to raise their stake from 4.7% to 43.4% while the Economist paid £182m for the balance of 5.04m shares which will be distributed to current shareholders. Aside from the Agnelli family, smaller shareholders in the company include Cadbury, Schroder and other family interests as well as a number of staff and former staff shareholders. A board of trustees formally appoints the editor. Although The Economist has a global emphasis and scope, about two-thirds of the 75 staff journalists are based in the London borough of Westminster.
For the year to March 2016, the Economist Group declared operating profit of £61m. The Economist takes an editorial stance of classical and economic liberalism that supports free trade, free immigration and cultural liberalism; the publication has described itself as "a product of the Caledonian liberalism of Adam Smith and David Hume". It targets educated, cultured readers and claims an audience containing many influential executives and policy-makers; the publication's CEO described this recent global change, first noticed in the 1990s and accelerated in the beginning of the 21st century as a "new age of Mass Intelligence". The Economist was founded by the British businessman and banker James Wilson in 1843, to advance the repeal of the Corn Laws, a system of import tariffs. A prospectus for the "newspaper" from 5 August 1843 enumerated thirteen areas of coverage that its editors wanted the publication to focus on: Original leading articles, in which free-trade principles will be most rigidly applied to all the important questions of the day.
Articles relating to some practical, agricultural, or foreign topic of passing interest, such as foreign treaties. An article on the elementary principles of political economy, applied to practical experience, covering the laws related to prices, rent, exchange and taxes. Parliamentary reports, with particular focus on commerce and free trade. Reports and accounts of popular movements advocating free trade. General news from the Court of St. James's, the Metropolis, the Provinces and Ireland. Commercial topics such as changes in fiscal regulations, the state and prospects of the markets and exports, foreign news, the state of the manufacturing districts, notices of important new mechanical improvements, shipping news, the money market, the progress of railways and public companies. Agricultural topics, including the application of geology and chemistry. Colonial and foreign topics, including trade, produce and fiscal changes, other matters, including exposés on the evils of restriction and protection, the advantages of free intercourse and trade.
Law reports, confined chiefly to areas important to commerce and agriculture. Books, confined chiefly, but not so to commerce and agriculture, including all treatises on political economy, finance, or taxation. A commercial gazette, with prices and statistics of the week. Correspondence and inquiries from the news magazine's readers. Wilson described it as taking part in "a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress", a phrase which still appears on its masthead as the publication's mission, it has long been respected as "one of the most competent and subtle Western periodicals on public affairs". The publication was a major source of financial and economic information for Karl Marx in the formulation of socialist theory. In January 2012, The Economist launched a new weekly section devoted to China, the first new country section since the introduction of a section about the United States in 1942. In August 2015, The Economist Group bought back 5 million of its shares from Pearson.
Pearson's remaining shares would be sold to Exor. The editors of The Economist have been: James Wilson 1843–1857 Richard Holt Hutton 1857–1861 Walter Bagehot, 1861–1877 Daniel Conner Lathbury, 1877–1881 Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave, 1877–1883 Edward Johnstone, 1883–1907 Francis Wrigley Hirst, 1907–1916 Hartley Withers, 1916–1921 Sir Walter Layton, 1922–1938 Geoffrey Crowther, 1938–1956 Donald Tyerman, 1956–1965 Sir Alastair Burnet, 1965–1974 Andrew Knight, 1974–1986 Rupert Pennant-Rea, 1986–1993 Bill Emmott, 1993–2006 John Micklethwait, 2006–2014 Zanny Minton Beddoes, 2015–present When the news magazine was founded, the term "economism" denoted what would today be termed "economic liberalism"; the Economist supports free trade and free immigration. The activist and journalist George Monbiot has described it as neo-liberal while accepti
A banknote is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were issued by commercial banks, which were required to redeem the notes for legal tender when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank; these commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank. Commercial banknotes have been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks. National banknotes are legal tender, meaning that medium of payment is allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Banks sought to ensure that they could always pay customers in coins when they presented banknotes for payment; this practice of "backing" notes with something of substance is the basis for the history of central banks backing their currencies in gold or silver. Today, most national currencies have no backing in precious metals or commodities and have value only by fiat. With the exception of non-circulating high-value or precious metal issues, coins are used for lower valued monetary units, while banknotes are used for higher values.
In China during the Han dynasty promissory notes were made of leather. Rome may have used a durable lightweight substance as promissory notes in 57 AD which have been found in London. However, Carthage was purported to have issued bank notes on parchment or leather before 146 BC. Hence Carthage may be the oldest user of lightweight promissory notes; the first known banknote was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. During the Yuan dynasty, banknotes were adopted by the Mongol Empire. In Europe, the concept of banknotes was first introduced during the 13th century by travelers such as Marco Polo, with European banknotes appearing in 1661 in Sweden. Counterfeiting, the forgery of banknotes, is an inherent challenge in issuing currency, it is countered by anticounterfeiting measures in the printing of banknotes.
Fighting the counterfeiting of banknotes and cheques has been a principal driver of security printing methods development in recent centuries. Paper currency first developed in Tang dynasty China during the 7th century, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty; the usage of paper currency spread throughout the Mongol Empire or Yuan dynasty China. European explorers like Marco Polo introduced the concept in Europe during the 13th century. Napoleon issued paper banknotes in the early 1800s. Cash paper money originated as receipts for value held on account "value received", should not be conflated with promissory "sight bills" which were issued with a promise to convert at a date; the perception of banknotes as money has evolved over time. Money was based on precious metals. Banknotes were seen by some as an I. O. U. or promissory note: a promise to pay someone in precious metal on presentation, but were accepted - for convenience and security - in the City of London for example from the late 1600s onwards.
With the removal of precious metals from the monetary system, banknotes evolved into pure fiat money. Development of the banknote began in the Tang dynasty during the 7th century, with local issues of paper currency, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song dynasty, its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty, as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions. Before the use of paper, the Chinese used coins that were circular, with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were left with a trustworthy person, the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money they had with that person. If they showed the paper to that person, they could regain their money; the Song Dynasty paper money called "jiaozi" originated from these promissory notes.
By 960 the Song dynasty, short of copper for striking coins, issued the first circulating notes. A note is a promise to redeem for some other object of value specie; the issue of credit notes is for a limited duration, at some discount to the promised amount later. The jiaozi did not replace coins during the Song Dynasty; the central government soon observed the economic advantages of printing paper money, issuing a monopoly right of several of the deposit shops to the issuance of these certificates of deposit. By the early 12th century, the amount of banknotes issued in a single year amounted to an annual rate of 26 million strings of cash coins. By the 1120s the central government stepped in and produced their own state-issued paper money. Before this point, the Song government was amassing large amounts of paper tribute, it was recorded that each year before 1101 AD, the prefecture of Xin'an alone would send 1,500,000 sheets of paper in seven different varieties to the capital at Kaifeng. In that year of 1101, the Emperor Huizong of Song decided to lessen the amount of paper taken in the tribute quota, because it was causing detrimental effects and creating heavy burdens on the people of the regio
A treasury is either A government department related to finance and taxation. A place or Schatzkammer where currency or precious items like gold, diamonds etc. are kept. The head of a treasury is known as a treasurer; this position may not have the final control over the actions of the treasury if they are not an elected representative. The adjective for a treasury is treasurial; the adjective "tresorial" can be used, but this means pertaining to a treasurer. The earliest found artefacts made of silver and gold are from Lake Varna in Bulgaria dated 4250–4000 BC, the earliest of copper are dated 9000–7000 BC.... And there was silver weighing many thousands of talents and all the royal treasure amounting to a great sum... The term treasury was first used in Classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi or many similar buildings erected in Olympia, Greece by competing city-states to impress others during the ancient Olympic Games.
In Ancient Greece treasuries were always physically incorporated within religious buildings such as temples, thus making state funds sacrosanct and adding moral constraints to the penal ones to those who would have access to these funds. The sovereigns' treasury within the palace in ancient Jerusalem, is considered to be similar in nature to the temple treasury; the temple treasury of the settlement had appointed officials and functioned akin to a bank.... in fact in every city there are banking places for the holy money... In excavations of Persepolis a text containing information pertaining to the activities of a temple treasury were discovered dated to the fifth century BC; the texts written in the Elamite language name the treasurer as ganzabara The ancient Roman word aerarium signified the treasury of the Senate, fiscus was used to indicate the imperial treasury used by Caesar. In the United Kingdom, Her Majesty's Treasury is overseen by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; the traditional honorary title of First Lord of the Treasury is held by the Prime Minister.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs administers the taxation system. In the United States, the Treasurer reports to an executive-appointed Secretary of the Treasury; the IRS is the revenue agency of the US Department of the Treasury. In many other countries, the treasury is called the "ministry of finance" and the head is known as the finance minister. Examples include the Bahamas, Belgium, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Japan, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe. In some other countries, a "Treasury" will exist alongside a separate "Ministry of Finance", with divided functions; the State Treasury in Polish law represents the Polish state acting in the field of civil law relations in which it is treated as equal partner to private entities. It can be represented by various officials or institutions depending on circumstances and has its own ministry, the Ministry of State Treasury, it was created in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1590, when the public treasury was split from the Royal Treasury.
The government of Ukraine includes the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of State Treasury. It was the same in Italy before the creation of the united Ministry of Economy. In the Australian federal government a treasurer and a finance minister co-exist; the Department of the Treasury is responsible for drafting the government budget, economic policy, some market regulation and revenue policy. The Finance Minister, who manages the Department of Finance and Deregulation, is responsible for budget management, government expenditure and market deregulation
Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form, but diamond never converts to it. Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are utilized in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools, they are the reason that diamond anvil cells can subject materials to pressures found deep in the Earth. Because the arrangement of atoms in diamond is rigid, few types of impurity can contaminate it. Small numbers of defects or impurities color diamond blue, brown, purple, orange or red. Diamond has high optical dispersion. Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometers in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometers. Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved minerals and replaced them with diamonds.
Much more they were carried to the surface in volcanic eruptions and deposited in igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites. Synthetic diamonds can be grown from high-purity carbon under high pressures and temperatures or from hydrocarbon gas by chemical vapor deposition. Imitation diamonds can be made out of materials such as cubic zirconia and silicon carbide. Natural and imitation diamonds are most distinguished using optical techniques or thermal conductivity measurements. Diamond is a solid form of pure carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal. Solid carbon comes in different forms known as allotropes depending on the type of chemical bond; the two most common allotropes of pure carbon are graphite. In graphite the bonds are sp2 orbital hybrids and the atoms form in planes with each bound to three nearest neighbors 120 degrees apart. In diamond they are sp3 and the atoms form tetrahedra with each bound to four nearest neighbors. Tetrahedra are rigid, the bonds are strong, of all known substances diamond has the greatest number of atoms per unit volume, why it is both the hardest and the least compressible.
It has a high density, ranging from 3150 to 3530 kilograms per cubic metre in natural diamonds and 3520 kg/m³ in pure diamond. In graphite, the bonds between nearest neighbors are stronger but the bonds between planes are weak, so the planes can slip past each other. Thus, graphite is much softer than diamond. However, the stronger bonds make graphite less flammable. Diamonds have been adapted for many uses because of the material's exceptional physical characteristics. Most notable are its extreme hardness and thermal conductivity, as well as wide bandgap and high optical dispersion. Diamond's ignition point is 720 -- 800 °C in 850 -- 1000 °C in air; the equilibrium pressure and temperature conditions for a transition between graphite and diamond is well established theoretically and experimentally. The pressure changes linearly between 1.7 GPa at 0 K and 12 GPa at 5000 K. However, the phases have a wide region about this line where they can coexist. At normal temperature and pressure, 20 °C and 1 standard atmosphere, the stable phase of carbon is graphite, but diamond is metastable and its rate of conversion to graphite is negligible.
However, at temperatures above about 4500 K, diamond converts to graphite. Rapid conversion of graphite to diamond requires pressures well above the equilibrium line: at 2000 K, a pressure of 35 GPa is needed. Above the triple point, the melting point of diamond increases with increasing pressure. At high pressures and germanium have a BC8 body-centered cubic crystal structure, a similar structure is predicted for carbon at high pressures. At 0 K, the transition is predicted to occur at 1100 GPa; the most common crystal structure of diamond is called diamond cubic. It is formed of unit cells stacked together. Although there are 18 atoms in the figure, each corner atom is shared by eight unit cells and each atom in the center of a face is shared by two, so there are a total of eight atoms per unit cell; each side of the unit cell is 3.57 angstroms in length. A diamond cubic lattice can be thought of as two interpenetrating face-centered cubic lattices with one displaced by 1/4 of the diagonal along a cubic cell, or as one lattice with two atoms associated with each lattice point.
Looked at from a <1 1 1> crystallographic direction, it is formed of layers stacked in a repeating ABCABC... pattern. Diamonds can form an ABAB... structure, known as hexagonal diamond or lonsdaleite, but this is far less common and is formed under different conditions from cubic carbon. Diamonds occur most as euhedral or rounded octahedra and twinned octahedra known as macles; as diamond's crystal structure has a cubic arrangement of the atoms, they have many facets that belong to a cube, rhombicosidodecahedron, tetrakis hexahedron or disdyakis dodecahedron. The crystals can be elongated. Diamonds are found coated in nyf, an opaque gum-like skin; some diamonds have opaque fibers. They are referred to as opaque if the fibers
In economics, a commodity is an economic good or service that has full or substantial fungibility: that is, the market treats instances of the good as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who produced them. Most commodities are raw materials, basic resources, agricultural, or mining products, such as iron ore, sugar, or grains like rice and wheat. Commodities can be mass-produced unspecialized products such as chemicals and computer memory; the price of a commodity good is determined as a function of its market as a whole: well-established physical commodities have traded spot and derivative markets. The wide availability of commodities leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors other than price; the word commodity came into use in English in the 15th century, from the French commodité, "amenity, convenience". Going further back, the French word derives from the Latin commoditas, meaning "suitability, advantage"; the Latin word commodus meant variously "appropriate", "proper measure, time, or condition", "advantage, benefit".
In economics, the term commodity is used for economic goods or services that have full or partial but substantial fungibility. Karl Marx described this property as follows: "From the taste of wheat, it is not possible to tell who produced it, a Russian serf, a French peasant or an English capitalist." Petroleum and copper are examples of commodity goods: their supply and demand are a part of one universal market. Non-commodity items such as stereo systems have many aspects of product differentiation, such as the brand, the user interface and the perceived quality; the demand for one type of stereo may be much larger than demand for another. The price of a commodity good is determined as a function of its market as a whole. Well-established physical commodities have traded spot and derivative markets. Soft commodities are goods that are grown, such as rice. Hard commodities are mined. Examples include gold and oil. Energy commodities include electricity, gas and oil. Electricity has the particular characteristic that it is uneconomical to store, must therefore be consumed as soon as it is processed.
Commoditization occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base by the diffusion of the intellectual capital necessary to acquire or produce it efficiently. As such, goods that carried premium margins for market participants have become commodities, such as generic pharmaceuticals and DRAM chips. An article in The New York Times cites multivitamin supplements as an example of commoditization. Following this trend, nanomaterials are emerging from carrying premium profit margins for market participants to a status of commodification. There is a spectrum of commoditization, rather than a binary distinction of "commodity versus differentiable product". Few products have complete undifferentiability and hence fungibility. Many products' degree of commoditization means. For example, milk and notebook paper are not differentiated by many customers. Other customers take into consideration other factors besides price, such as environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
To these customers, distinctions such as "organic versus not" or "cage free versus not" count toward differentiating brands of milk or eggs, percentage of recycled content or Forest Stewardship Council certification count toward differentiating brands of notebook paper. This is a list of companies trading globally in commodities, descending by size as of October 28, 2011. Vitol Glencore International AG Trafigura Cargill Salam Investment Archer Daniels Midland Gunvor Mercuria Energy Group Noble Group Louis Dreyfus Group Bunge Limited Wilmar International Olam International In the original and simplified sense, commodities were things of value, of uniform quality, that were produced in large quantities by many different producers. On a commodity exchange, it is the underlying standard stated in the contract that defines the commodity, not any quality inherent in a specific producer's product. Commodities exchanges include: Bourse Africa Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Chicago Board of Trade Chicago Mercantile Exchange Dalian Commodity Exchange Euronext.liffe Kansas City Board of Trade London Metal Exchange Marché à Terme International de France Mercantile Exchange Nepal Limited Multi Commodity Exchange National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange National Commodity Exchange Limited New York Mercantile Exchange Markets for trading commodities can be efficient if the division into pools matches demand segments.
These markets will respond to changes in supply and demand to find an equilibrium price and quantity. In addition, investors can gain passive exposure to the commodity markets through a commodity price index. In order to di
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency