The Galoy Origin Story: How We Got Our Name

“What does Galoy mean?” is a question we get asked a lot. We decided to share a bit of history regarding how we got the name Galoy.

A Brief History of the Gauls

In the 5th century B.C. a group of up to 60 Celtic tribes occupied present day France and surrounding areas. They built a cooperative and advanced society with highly developed population centers, interconnected trade routes and sophisticated political structures.

The tribes never organized under a single leader but they were fierce in defending the network. They repelled Roman invasions for centuries and even sacked Rome in 390 B.C..

The Romans called them Gauls.

According to fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, the Gauls were “eager to quarrel and excessively truculent.” Sounds toxic.

Ancient Bitcoiners

If you didn’t already take notice, the Gauls sound like Bitcoiners from another time. They prospered for centuries living by and defending principles that modern day Bitcoiners aspire to:

  • Diverse people with common ground. Gaul was “A mosaic of hundreds of ethnic groups living in a variety of ways,” connected by culture, language and religion.
  • Freedom through human cooperation. Trade flowed freely within and outside of Gallic tribes via river systems of the Rhône, Seine, Rhine, and Danube.
  • A decentralized security network. None of the 60 tribes conquered the rest, yet they banded together to defend against attacks from the outside.

 

When the Romans conquered Gaul in 58 B.C., Caesar looted so much gold that the price fell by 20%. If only Bitcoin existed 2,500 years ago, maybe we’d all be Gauls.

Asterix the Gaul

When Galoy Co-Founder Nicolas Burtey needed to find a name for the open source Bitcoin banking company he was building, he racked his brain for fitting inspiration. The company would be built on the premise that Bitcoin will eventually win the battle for “Money over IP” (MOIP) and become a medium of exchange.

Nicolas recalled the story of Asterix the Gaul from his childhood. The comic is set in 50 BC when almost all of Gaul has been occupied. Only one indestructible village of “indomitable Gauls” held out against the invaders.

In Asterix the Gaul, the Romans cannot sack the final village of Gaul no matter how much force they throw at it. Every time they invade, the village rebounds and gets stronger.

As a nod to Gaul’s impenetrable defenses against invasion, Nicolas created the name “Galoy.”

Introducing Galoy

Galoy is an open source Bitcoin banking infrastructure solution that enables communities and institutions to connect to and offer financial services on Bitcoin and Lightning.

Our mission is to make it easy for communities and enterprises around the world to use Bitcoin as money.

The first deployment of Galoy software is the Bitcoin Beach Wallet, our proof of concept in El Salvador. When Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador in 2021, the Bitcoin Beach Wallet and the Bitcoin Beach project gained worldwide recognition as proof that Bitcoin can be used as a medium of exchange.

If you’re looking for help building banking solutions on Bitcoin you can view our repos on GitHub, Reach out on Twitter or join our public Slack channel.

Subscribe to the Galoy Newsletter

Receive updates and insights about our products, our company and banking on the Lightning Network.