The history of the Yap people and their strange form of currency is likely to raise a few eyebrows. When digging 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. The limestones used by the Yap can be seen 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 to relocate from one person to another than the stones worth. 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 someone new, but it was just being held by a different citizen who previously had possession of the stone.
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. We simply sacrificed massive boulders in place of magnetic strips. But the practice of spending and sharing money is still largely the same.
In any society or country around the world, it is no shocker that more money amounts to more power. Without ever physically seeing the money people claim to have, who actually has the power? If every bank customer in our country was to withdraw all of our money at once, we would start another recession. Our money is simply 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 represented by a massive limestone boulder.