The story of RAAY – The future of money

Michael Reuter

23 March 2018

RAAY are large, circular stone disks – or: stone money – carved out of limestone formed from aragonite and calcite crystals.  RAAY stones were quarried on several of the Micronesian islands, mainly Palau, and transported for use as money to the island of Yap.

They have been used in trade by the Yapese as a form of currency. The monetary system of Yap relies on an oral history of ownership. Because these stones are too large to move, buying an item with one simply involves agreeing that the ownership has changed. As long as the transaction is recorded in the oral history, it will now be owned by the person it is passed on to and no physical movement of the stone is required.

For us, this Yapese tradition was the reason to name our Blockchain-based banking solution RAAY.  In the same way, the passing over of stories of (the possession of) Raay stones perfectly embody the key ingredients of modern Blockchain technology, such as authenticity, immobility, and consistency of transaction data. Raay stones meant the same to Yapese people as data in blockchains mean to participants of 21st century’s decentralized supply chains or financial ledger networks.

In the same way Yapese did not have to show their Raay to shopkeepers to buy essential goods, RAAY users do not have to trust each other in order to purchase and sell goods and services. Blockchain technology takes care of the “trustlessness”that blows for a highly scalable and seamless financial transaction experience.