If you were to tell someone about the people of Yap and their strange form of currency, that person is likely to look at you funny as if you’re just making up a story. But if you dig deeper into the story of the Yap, and compare their limestone currency with the currency we currently use today, it’s easy to see how much of a crazed money system we live by. Think of the limestones used by the Yap as an early banking system. People would use this currency for any trade and goods they needed. But the weight of the stones themselves would often require more labor than the stones worth. So people, instead, would trade goods or services for the currency, but leave the currency in the possession of who ever it formerly belonged too. It still belonged to them, but it was just held by someone else. This isn’t any different from what we do today with the banks. We use little plastic cards that tell us how much money we have (being held in the possession of the bank) then swipe the card to transfer our funds to another persons plastic card. Most of the time, we never actually physically see the money we are told we have. Transferring our money by hand is not a problem of weight either, as I can guarantee that paper money weighs significantly less than stone money.
Before, I was one to believe that money essentially created power. The more money you have, the more powerful you are. I still believe that, but now I question who actually has the power and money they claim to have? If every bank customer in our country was to withdraw all of our money at once, we would start another recession. Our money is being imagined. We are told we have more money than what exists and is represented by a number, just as the Yap’s currency is simply imagined and represented by a massive limestone boulder.