Flames of Revolt
|Daily exchanges of goods and services are facilitated by the following methods. This list is by no means exhaustive, but as a rule of thumb these are the primary methods of paying for things.
Barter: While used to a degree, this form of trade is not as popular as one might imagine in a solar system ravaged by war. Barter can be seen in small, tightly knit communities. There, the value of a hand manufactured good for a quickly performed service can be easily evaluated. Determining the value of several hand made goods for several other hand made goods begins to get very complex. On top of that, Barter is great for mutual survival, but it has little use to those wanting to grow wealthy.
|Coins: One Troy Ounce Gold “Rounds” were issued by several mints around the world, intended as a simple way to invest in gold. Many people bought them in case of a large, civilization destroying emergency. Thanks to their foresight, we now have a simple method of exchange.
Coins are used over much of Earth, the outer planets and in the asteroid field. There are often attempts to counterfeit, but they are rare as gold’s properties are well known and easily identified. The most commonly used rounds are pictured to the left: The Krugerrand, The American Gold Eagle, The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf and The Chinese Gold Panda. Other rounds, such as the Australian Nugget, are in circulation as well. Businesses and individuals have been known to mint their own rounds – frequently from newly mined gold or gold recovered from recycling efforts. As long as the accepter can see it’s a troy ounce of gold, most issued rounds can be exchanged.
Smaller denominations of rounds are also frequently exchanged. Fortunately, these are usually simple .5 and .25 troy ounce rounds. Most change for coins is not made with smaller coins, but rather by using the old method of “breaking” a coin into eight pieces, called “bits” – which we can see pictured to the left with a classic Spanish “Piece of Eight.” Thus, traders often keep a few rounds of various sizes, but more often many bits of one troy ounce coins. In this system, a full ounce round equals eight bits. A .5 ounce round, called a “half” equals four bits. A .25 ounce round, called a “quarter” equals two bits. A single bit should equal .125 troy ounces.
Even smaller gold coins are usually combined and either cold hammered or fired in order to make larger coins. Silver rounds can sometimes be found in trade. The typical rate is .5 troy ounce of gold to one troy ounce of silver or a one troy ounce gold round for 2 one troy ounce silver rounds.
IOUs & Chits: In areas that frequently use coins, it can become difficult to transport large numbers of coins. Or, there simply may not be enough coins in circulation to quantify an individual’s actual wealth & power. Thus, an individual may sign a slip of paper marked “IOU” with a denomination. IOUs from the poor or the unknown are usually not accepted in trade. However, a powerful or famous individual might have many markers in several hands. Some have issued enough that they become local currencies, trading next to coins of equal value. Slave owners sometimes issue “chits” – these are reusable wood or metal IOUs that can be turned back over to the slave owner for the use of a slave for one day of labor. Chits frequently exchange for five troy ounces of gold.
Credit: In the larger megacorporation enclaves, credit is the only form of exchange. Almost no hard currency is exchanged. A pre-teen child is often issued their first credit card, drawing from a parent’s account and Credit Risk Estimation Document (CRED), for a birthday. From there, the child builds their credit history. Megacorps often keep large amounts of hard currency for use when trading with entities outside the enclaves.