“Can’t get paid if you crawl away like a little bitty bug, neither. I got a share in this job. Ten percent of nothing is—let me do the math here. Nothing into nothin’. Carry the nothin’…” – Jayne Cobb
Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it comes in useful when you need eats, gas, and gear. A stash laid by for emergencies is always a good idea, and it’d be nice to have enough hard coin on hand for an impulse buy. That’s why some folk decide to take jobs as they come—they want just enough cash to keep flyin’. On the other hand, there are some folk who reckon that money buys freedom so more is better. Hard to say who’s right.
The Alliance runs a complicated economic system on the Central planets. Banks and Credit Unions hold the money for their customers in interest-bearing accounts, investing it at the exchanges on Sihnon and Londinum. Most money transfer in the Core is done by computer, with data bytes and pixels replacing cold, hard cash. This also allows for credit bytes to be traced from the accounts of discovered pirates, smugglers, or dirty deed doers. Digital money discourages illegal activity.
Currency exists in the Core in standard paper notes issued by the Alliance. The notes are printed on fancy paper by fancy printing systems to discourage counterfeiters. Tracers on each bill allow the money to be tracked as it moves about anywhere that the Cortex exists as quick as a wave. Paper bills and credit transfer are the only legal tender on Core planets, and those with gold or platinum coins must go to a licensed money changer. Purchasing goods with “hard coin” is illegal and untraceable, which is why it’s preferred by black market merchants everywhere.
That’s why most folks Out In The Black prefer to be paid in something other than currency: foodstuffs, gear, medicine, ship parts, or gear. This makes tracing the payment difficult if not impossible, and keeps the Alliance off your back while you’re trying to make a living out in the Border or Rim.
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