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- "Do you know what this is? It's a common immune booster called Ivoprovalyn, street value for a dosage this size... 50 platinum... maybe 20 credits."
- ―Simon Tam[src]
The Central Planets, them as formed the Union of Allied Planets, have a complex and sophisticated economic system. Financial institutions such as banks hold the money for their customers in interest-bearing accounts, investing it at the exchanges in Sihnon and Londinium. Most money transfer in the Core is done by computer, with data bytes and pixels replacing cold, hard cash. Currency exists in the Core, to be sure, in standard paper notes issued by the Alliance. The notes are printed on special paper by fancy printing systems to discourage counterfeiters. Tracers on each bill allow the money to be tracked as it moves about. 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.
The Border Planets, lacking the fancy trappings of 'civilized' life, rely on precious metal coinage. While different planets have different standards and mint coins in different ways, some basic standards have developed. The coins most often used are made from set weights of silver, gold, and platinum. 'Course, coins aren't the only things used for business dealings. Barter is common practice, especially in transactions in which both sides have something besides cash to offer. While simpler, this economic system can also make prices and wages somewhat more fluid out on the Rim, as there aren't Cortex-accessible exchange rates to fall back on, thus making haggling an important skill to master. Debt is tracked with a signed I.O.U., and often collected at the end of a gun barrel.