The Island of Stone Money

Categories : Digital Money and payments, Technology and Operational Enablers


Author: Cleo Turner

The Island Of Stone Money – large stones quarried and shaped on a distant island were used as money on the Island of Yap. After Germany acquired the island at the turn of the century, its officials had difficulty inducing the residents to repair the footpaths until they resorted to the desperate expedient of taking possession of many of the stones by marking them with a cross in black paint, to be removed when the paths were repaired. The apparently meaningless measure had real results. That was equally true of an eerily similar event that occurred in 1932 when the New York Federal Reserve Bank transferred gold to the Bank of France by earmarking gold in its vaults.