Commerce is the activity of buying and selling of goods and services, especially on a large scale or quantity. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural and technological systems that are in operation in any country or internationally. Thus, commerce is a system or an environment that affects the business prospects of economies. It can also be defined as a component of business which includes all activities, functions and institutions involved in transferring goods from producers to consumers.
Some commentators trace the origins of commerce to the very start of communication in prehistoric times. Apart from traditional self-sufficiency, trading became a principal facility of prehistoric people, who bartered what they had for goods and services from each other. Historian Peter Watson dates the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago.
In historic times, the introduction of currency as a standardized money, facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services. Numismatists have collections of these monetary tokens, which include coins from some Ancient World large-scale societies, although initial usage involved unmarked lumps of precious metal.