There were no banks and you couldn’t write checks.
Were dried fish and lumber so valuable in Britain and the Continent that you could still make a fat profit shipping them across the ocean? Furs, I can understand, as well as the hunger for gold and silver, which may have fueled speculators who were inevitably disappointed. Plus fish, likely dried.
As for paying your workers? A daily portion of rum or the like was apparently often part of the deal.
By the way, Quakers were in the forefront of developing banks and insurance and even packet shipping in time.
The early colonies had layers of ownership, starting with those demanding annual quitrents for the land you would clear and build on or have “purchased” with any improvements. Then there were the chartered investors, like Lord Saye and Sele and Lord Brooke in New Hampshire’s case, who somehow expected to make a profit overseeing the place. They still had obligations to other investors, like the Council for New England. I’m really unclear how all of that worked in practice or what they got from “selling” their charter to Massachusetts.
The best I can come up with is that it was a kind of private enterprise tax, though I’m not sure what was offered in return. Like Mafia “protection” or layers of graft?
And that’s even before getting to England’s heavy mercantile system that hampered American entrepreneurial opportunities. The colonists were expected to provide raw materials for manufacture in England before being sold at hefty markups in the New World, too.
How did the colonists ever thrive, all their hard work aside?
I’m thinking it’s almost as vaporous as bitcoins.