Ancient Middle Eastern legal systems, in all three of the great Abrahamic Religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, completely disallowed the use of ANY usury in the essential laws of commerce. Ancient usury is simply defined as the allowing of contracts for ANY amount of interest in the loaning of money or property.
This began to slowly change with the Second Crusades and developed today to allow the charging of interest in any transaction, as long as the amount of interest in not excessive. Of course, the problem comes with each country’s and each state’s definition of reasonable (non-excessive) interests. Should we modify our current usury laws and, if so, in what manner?
Until 1677 and the creation of the Statute of Frauds in England, all contracts could be either written or oral and yet be equally binding on the parties. After 1677, the law required certain types of contracts (such as contracts to buy or sale land) to be both made in writing and executed with the physical signatures of all of the parties involved.
At any time thereafter, either party could challenge authenticity of the physical signature of his/her own handwriting or the handwriting of the other party.
Recently, with the increase of ecommerce, electronic signature (non-physical) has become as equally binding as the physical signature with severe limitation allowed in challenging the authenticity. Has this developed out of necessity, or have we simply moved too far with the law accommodating the digital age?