About - Cowrie Shells
Cowrie Shells as Currency
Distinctly recognizable, impossible to counterfeit, durable, uniform in size and easy to carry – cowrie shells met the requirements of a functional currency and provided a reliable means of exchange transcending continents and cultures from the 15th to the 20th century.
Primarily deriving their value from supply and demand, cowrie shells were a mechanism for individuals to store value in an accessible medium. Like the crypto miners of today, the holder of cowrie shells who invested their resources and efforts were rewarded for their work in maintaining the integrity of the asset. Ornamentation through polishing and sanding the cowrie shells increased their value because the finishing steps resulted in rarer, more readily authenticated and easily accepted forms of the currency.
Although cowrie shells are still valued today for aesthetic, cultural and spiritual purposes, their use as currency ended in the 20th century due primarily to colonial interests requiring the uniform adoption of centralized currency.
Cowrie LLC was named as a reminder that many successful financial systems predate centralization and in recognition that the lessons learned from our shared history can be instructive in integrating the benefits of decentralized financial structures within the investor and consumer protections established by the current regulatory compliance standards.