The reason why some old Chinese coins have a hole in them was very practical.
You could string them together for carrying.
It was such a good idea that early on, the U.S. Mint considered doing the same.
The earliest known Chinese metal tokens were made around 900 B.C., and were discovered in a tomb near Anyang.
Some archaeological evidence suggests that the Indians invented coinage, somewhere between the 6th to 5th century B.C.