By A.D. 700-800 there were shops in China which would accept valuables,
and, for a fee, keep them safe. They would honour drafts drawn on the items in
deposit, and, as with the goldsmith's shops in Europe, their deposit receipts
gradually began to circulate as money. It is not known how rapidly this process
developed, but by A.D. 1000 there were apparently a number of firms in China
which issued regular printed notes and which had discovered that they could
circulate more notes than the amount of valuables they had on deposit.