History of Commodity Markets
Historically, dating from the ancients who used livestock, rare seashells and other items as payment "commodity money" - People have long sought ways to standardise and trade contracts.
"Commodity money" and commodity markets in a crude early form are believed to have originated in Sumer where clay tokens were made in the shape of sheep or goats, then baked - this produced a hard token (a coin for want of a better word) and were used in trade.
These tokens were sealed in clay vessels with their number written on the outside, These then represented a promise to deliver on that number. This made them a form of commodity money. This was more of a commitment than what some people might think as an I.O.U but they were still less than let's say,a guarantee by a nation-state or bank. However, these casks were known to contain promises of time and date of delivery - this made them like a modern futures contract. Trust had to play an important role within this trade since regardless of the details, it was only possible to verify the actual number of tokens inside the "casks" by shaking them or by breaking them, at which point the number or terms written on the outside became subject to doubt. Eventually the tokens disappeared, but the contracts remained on flat tablets. This represented the first system of commodity accounting.
Classical civilizations such as the Greeks built complex global markets trading gold or silver for spices, cloth, wood and weapons, most of which had standards of quality and timeliness.