Trading posts were also places for people to meet and exchange the news of the world, or simply the news from their home country (many of the world's trading posts were places people loved to emigrate to) in a time when not even newspapers existed.
Trading posts in general were of great importance to the history of currency. Almost right at the start of trading post history, the need occurs to have something as a payment medium. Soon trade-tokens and eventually coins were produced from precious metals like gold, silver and copper for the use of buying and selling goods instead of simply exchanging them. After the introduction of money, the first banks occurred in Genoa and Venice almost immediately.
European colonialism traces its roots to ancient Carthage. Originally a trading settlement of Phoenician colonists, Carthage grew into a vast economic and political power throughout the Mediterranean, accumulating wealth and influence through its economic (trading) prowess. Almost every city of importance of the world once started its history as a trading post: Venice, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Naples, Rotterdam, etc.
The annexation of trading posts along ancient trade routes by 16th and 17th century European powers, like the Dutch and English, beginning with the capture of Ceuta (a terminus of the trans-Saharan trade route) by the Portuguese in 1415, who went on to establish further enclaves as they explored the coasts of Africa, Arabia, India and South East Asia in search of the source of the lucrative spice trade. Trading posts were also very common in the early settlements of Canada and the United States for the trade of such things as fur. They are also used in many camps across America as places to buy snacks, items and souvenirs.
In the United States in the early 19th century trading posts used by Native Americans were licensed by the federal government and called "factories". Tribes were to concede substantial territory to the United States in order to access the "factories" as happened at Fort Clark in the Treaty of Fort Clark in which the Osage Nation conceded most of Missouri in order to access the trading post.
A 'trading post' can also be referred to as the place where securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange are traded (bought and sold).