Off the coast of the Irish Sea have lived since 6500 BC. BC people on the Isle of Man. The island has a robust history with treasures from the Viking Age. An amateur treasure hunter recently discovered a hoard of Viking silver on the island, according to a recent announcement by Manx National Heritage, a local heritage agency. The American researcher and numismatist Dr. Kristin Bornholdt-Collins said the Vikings’ unearthed silver treasure was similar to today’s cryptocurrency and embodied a 1,000-year-old comparison with Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin.
Viking ‘Hack’ Silver Hort was synonymous with a cryptocurrency today
Just recently, an amateur treasure hunter searching for jewelry on the Isle of Man found a hoard of Viking silver, also known as “hack silver”. Manx National Heritage announced that the stash of old money contained 87 silver coins, 13 silver bracelets, and a small fraction of other numismatic artifacts. The Viking supply was discovered in April when Kath Giles was suckling around on private land with a metal detector.
Giles’ discovery marked the third major treasure found on the Isle of Man in less than six months, and Giles managed to unearth at least four significant treasures in three years. Dr. Kristin Bornholdt-Collins, an independent researcher and numismatist based in New Hampshire, USA, stated that the silver contains Dublin minted pennies and “long cross” pennies that could be cut in half.
The Manx National Heritage announcement states that Viking coins are “90% silver”. The coin supply that Giles discovered is known as a “mixed hoard of silver coins from the Viking Age”.
“A currency without borders and political affiliation”
Experts believe that mixed amounts of money came from owners who planned to reclaim the money supply at a later date. According to Bornholdt-Collins, the supply is used like a “piggy bank” and could be viewed as a 1,000 year old analog version of the cryptocurrency.
“The Northern Mixed Hoard is the fourth Viking Age coin treasure found on the Isle of Man in the last fifty years,” said Bornholdt-Collins. “It may have been added over time like a piggy bank that makes up some of the older coins, though for the most part it is a direct reflection of what circulated in and around man in the late 1020s / c. 1030. “
“In addition to the coins,” added Bornholdt-Collins, “both hoards contain a significant amount of hacked silver or bars that would have been weighed and possibly checked for quality in the course of transactions. This is generally expected for finds from the 9th and 10th centuries from Viking areas, but also seems to be a specialty of the later Manxhorte. This could be because gold bars were particularly convenient for international trade, as it was convenient for transactions of any size and was decentralized, a currency with no borders or political affiliation. “
The New Hampshire numismatist went on to say:
In that sense, it was a modern cryptocurrency equivalent – we could even say it was something like the original “Bitcoin”. It therefore seems only logical that in a cosmopolitan trading center like Man it was so popular for several decades into the 11th century when strictly regulated minted silver was on the way to becoming the norm in Northern Europe.
The Manx National Heritage Team believes the coin dates back to around AD 1035, and researchers believe that the Viking silver “was built up over a period of several years and may represent a short-term savings account.” According to the Isle of Man Heritage Agency, the Viking silver is on display in the Viking Gallery at the Manx Museum.
The treasure will then be reviewed by the British Museum’s Treasure Valuation Committee to advise the Heritage Agency on how to care for the antiques found. The latest Viking silver treasure is believed to date from the time of the Hiberno-Norse king Sihtric Silkbeard.
What do you think of the Viking silver found on the Isle of Man and why is it considered an analog version of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin? Let us know what you think on this matter in the comments below.
Photo credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Manx National Heritage
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