However the beads were used, the concept of beads as a medium of exchange, a record of treaties, or a social status marker involves abstraction. They represent an idea. Ideas surely became much more powerful when they were portable. They have a much longer and wider reach when they can be shared and embodied in something other than a given person’s brain.
When “evolution” becomes history, it knocks a lot of nonsense off its pedestal. Remember when people couldn’t think that way back then?