The history of banking began with the first prototype banks were the merchants of the world, who made grain loans to farmers and traders who carried goods between cities. This was around 2000 BC in Assyria and Sumeria. Later, in ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire, lenders based in temples made loans, while accepting deposits and performing the change of money. Archaeology from this period in ancient China and India also shows evidence of money lending activity.Many histories position the crucial historical development of a banking system to medieval and Renaissance Italy and particularly the affluent cities of Florence, Venice and Genoa. The Bardi and Peruzzi Families dominated banking in 14th century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe. The most famous Italian bank was the Medici bank, established by Giovanni Medici in 1397. The oldest bank still in existence is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, headquartered in Siena, Italy, which has been operating continuously since 1472.The development of banking spread from northern Italy throughout the Holy Roman Empire, and in the 15th and 16th century to northern Europe. This was followed by a number of important innovations that took place in Amsterdam during the Dutch Republic in the 17th century, and in London since the 18th century. During the 20th century, developments in telecommunications and computing caused major changes to banks' operations and let banks dramatically increase in size and geographic spread. The financial crisis of 2007-2008 caused many bank failures, including some of the world's largest banks, and provoked much debate about bank regulation.