This piece is my first, finished sculpture carved in stone. It is inspired by the Rai stones used for hundreds of years as money on the Yap Islands in the Pacific. More than that, it is a synthesis of old money and new. To me, it represents our progression from imperfect stores of value susceptible to corruption, to Bitcoin, the purest, most unassailable form of money we have ever seen.
I decided to title this piece the “Cryptographer’s Stone” as an ode to Satoshi and the many Cypherpunks and cryptographers who paved the way for the genesis of Bitcoin. It is also a reference to the mythical “Philosopher’s Stone,” a substance that could turn base metals into gold and help one achieve immortality. I view Bitcoin as the realized dream of alchemists long past. Whether it is the transmutation of energy into value or of lesser money into better money, Bitcoin in my mind embodies many attributes of the Philosopher’s stone. Even when it comes to immortality I see parallels, for while our earthly bodies will decay, the marks we leave behind on the Time Chain will never fade, giving Bitcoiners a valid claim on immortality in much the same way that beautiful stone sculptures have given their creators a legacy reaching far into the future.
This piece is carved from a solid block of limestone. It features an Opendime from Coinkite, and it was finished with a gold wax that works to protect the stone as well as highlight its natural grain. An imperfect sculpture in a world of machine made perfection, I intentionally chose to leave some chisel marks visible. Please note, this Rai stone copy will not be accepted as legal tender on the Islands of Yap. Attempting to purchase coconuts on Yap with this Rai stone is likely illegal.