Stone Money – PaulaJean5

When you think about money, you most likely picture dollar bills and coins. Picturing this means that you live in a society where money is exchanged for goods and put into a bank. This type of society consists of people who may not be able to comprehend the monetary system on the island of Yap. On the island of Yap, possession alone was more important than acquiring somebody’s possession. As long as it was known that somebody owned a large limestone wheel, which was the symbol of wealth, they were able to ‘purchase’ important goods. If the bank gives a loan to somebody after you put your money in your account, then what is the difference of our society and the people of Yap?

To think that money is a unit of measurement seemed bizarre to me before studying and researching these different societies and their fix to the flawed monetary system. It is a measurement of wealth and in some cases, happiness. Brazil was dealing with extreme economic issues for decades. The inflation was so bad that the price of goods were going up every day. It got to the point where many people were committing suicide. The solution they came up with was virtual money. Instead of being paid in physical currency, their wages were listed in units of real value, or URV’s.

“..they wrote a plan for a new currency, one that was stable, dependable, trustworthy. The only catch was this currency would not be real. It would not be printed. There would never be coins. It was fake. They called it a virtual currency.” (Joffe-Walt, 2011)

This compares to our monetary system in the aspect of placeholders. In Brazil, none of your money was tangible. If it was, it was not worth anything. In our society, the money in our bank is not actually ours. It is just a way to measure our wealth.

Another form of currency is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a type of money that you can spend anonymously on the black market. “A form of “e-money,” Bitcoin is made of strings of dazzlingly complex code created by raw computing power — a process called “mining” that can in theory be carried out by anyone with a computer.” (Renaut, 2013) By buying and spending bitcoins, you can purchase things without the bank knowing or anybody for that matter. Today, bitcoins are worth a lot more than they were when they first came out. Using bitcoins, you will never had to trade them, only mine. Mining is the process of creating a complex code using a computer.

Essentially, money is not real. It is a fake concept that measures wealth. This in itself does not make sense. If the money is not real, this means that the wealth is fake as well. Once money is declared fake, everything that we use it for and everything that it stands for changes or becomes worthless in a way.

Works Cited

The Invention of Money. (2018, January 31). Retrieved February 07, 2018, from https://www.thisamericanlife.org/423/the-invention-of-moneyGoldstein, J., &

Kestenbaum, D. (2010, December 10). The Island Of Stone Money. Retrieved February 07, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2011/02/15/131934618/the-island-of-stone-money

Renaut, A. (2013, April 13). The bubble bursts on e-currency Bitcoin. Retrieved February 07, 2018, from https://sg.news.yahoo.com/bubble-bursts-e-currency-bitcoin-064913387–finance.html

 

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