What did the “grandfather” of Bitcoin look like: an ancient stone cryptocurrency

Bitcoin and blockchain may seem unusual and innovative concepts, but in fact, the basic principle around which they are built is rooted in ancient times. The historical analogue of bitcoin is even more interesting than modern cryptocurrency in that it has a material aspect, and even what. Meet: giant stone disks from Yap Island in Micronesia - this is the real "grandfather" of the current bitcoin.

“Carved from limestone quarries located on the Palaupro Islands about 400 km from Yap, these discs are the largest objects ever moving along the Pacific Ocean in the era of pre-European contacts, ” says archaeologist Scott Fitzpatrick of the University of Oregon.

At first glance, these massive stone disks have little in common with modern cryptocurrency, which is intangible and valuable as an information resource. However, both currencies, ancient and newest, represent only a certain symbol, a convention designating a certain valuable asset. Both of them provide transaction transparency and a certain level of security - all without the participation of a centralized banking structure.

Paradise (the so-called stone disk) was of great value. However, given the size and monstrous weight of this object, it was almost impossible to move them from place to place. The result was that when one paradise changed its owner, who lived somewhere in a neighboring region, an oral analogue of the blockchain was created - a story that the inhabitants of Yap shared with each other and passed down from generation to generation. These stories included such detailed information as a change in ownership of paradise, which helped the whole society control potential currency crimes - bribery, blackmail, and political manipulation of the currency “rate” of stone disks.

This amazing similarity between ancient and modern cryptocurrencies is perfectly demonstrated by the fact that a distributed financial system that can exist without the participation of banks and the central state support apparatus is an invention that has been around for hundreds of years.


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