A Viking treasure was discovered on the Isle of Man in the United States. There was a “piggy bank” in which scientists found coins. Archaeologists call them the earliest version of Bitcoin due to their versatility.
A hobbyist treasure hunter on the Isle of Man has discovered a Viking Age treasure box that contains a thousand-year-old counterpart to today’s bitcoin. The recently discovered treasure includes 87 silver coins, chopped silver and several other artifacts. It is reported by Manx National Heritage, the Isle of Man heritage charity in the Irish Sea.
“The treasure contains a tremendous amount of chopped silver, as did the Glenfub mine on the Isle of Man in 2003,” said Christine Bornholdt Collins, an independent researcher and numismatist based in New Hampshire who studies the Viking Age economies of the Isle of Man and the Irish Sea region.
Most likely, chopped silver was useful for international trade because it was practical for transactions of any size and was decentralized. It is a currency without borders or political affiliation. “In that sense, it was the modern equivalent of cryptocurrency – you could even say that it was something like the original bitcoin,” notes Collins.
Chopped silver is pre-coin period money. In the course of commercial transactions, pieces of silver were weighed. They were also hidden, turning them into a treasure. Chopped silver was especially often used in the regions adjacent to the Baltic Sea, when carrying out trade transactions with the East.
Chopped silver includes chopped jewelry, silver bars, wire, and coins. At the end of the 11th – beginning of the 12th century, coins of local origin came to replace it in the north-east of Western Europe. Use is also attested in Asia Minor and Egypt.