The first viable paper currency system used in a national economy in world history was created about 1020 during China’s Song dynasty. When Zhu Yuanzhang came to power as the Hongwu emperor at the beginning of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), he established, in 1374, the Treasure Note Control Bureau (Bao chao ti ju si) to supervise the production of paper money in order to facilitate commerce. The Ming was the first Chinese dynasty to try to totally replace coins with paper money.
The present banknote is an example of the earliest surviving paper currency. Identical to the one held by...
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