When was the last time someone came up to you and asked, “Hey do you have change for a billion dollar bill?” Probably never. Billionaires do exist though, we just don’t see them checking out of a shopping mall with billion or million dollar bills. But even yet, they still do have this monetary wealth, they themselves only see the couple hundred in their wallet. There is still a great faith though that all of their money exists somewhere. Just as the Yaps believed in the value of their stone money, we believe in the value of our dollar bills. Just as the French felt secure and had faith in their gold that was put away in America, we have feel a faith and security towards the digital numbers in our bank account. The monetary systems that seemed abstract are just as abstract today, but they work. They rely on a strong faith. We were born into this world to just believe in it.
Questioning it now and attempting to make it less abstract to make sense of a compromised understanding is only too complicated now. It would require a large printing of money constantly so that people could actually see and hold their money. All of that cash in circulation will only create problems and be hard to keep track of. Having computers compute our monetary units, and carrying plastic in our wallets is much more convenient than having thousands of dollars in our hand the next time we want to buy a new car. These abstractions are also much safer to keep around. Better to have a credit card stolen that can be reported and closed, than cash that will be impossible to track once stolen.
Although it is hard to believe and we want to ask 1,001 questions about our money and how we never actually see it all in our hands, we have a faith that it exists. It does not seem worth questioning until we actually think about it, so perhaps it is not something we are supposed to understand. Perhaps we are not supposed to think about it, because after all, it works.