Interstellar Trade within Charted Space
Interstellar Trade or Interstellar Commerce is the mutually-beneficial exchange of goods and services between multiple star systems or astrographic locations.
- Trade, at its most basic level, is the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services. Commerce and trade are the lifeblood of any civilization. And interstellar trade is the lifeblood of an interstellar civilization. Charted Space is no exception. Every one of the polities, or supra-polities, of the major races prospers in part due to successful trading practices.
Please see the following AAB articles for more information:
- Interstellar Commerce
- Business Entities
- Resource Types
- Resource Units
- Scarcity Economy
- Resource Types
- Trading Starship Types (Merchants - Civilian Starship Types)
- Commercial Merchants
- Private Merchants
- Trading Starship Types (Merchants - Civilian Starship Types)
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors (Sources)
Charted Space is essentially a gigantic free trade zone, subject to the vagaries of individual polities. Non-warships may travel the lengths of Imperial Space as long as they are engaged in mercantile pursuits. They are subject to inspection and must pay taxes as well as obey local laws. In this permissive environment, corporations and megacorporations thrive.
Interstellar Mediums of Exchange
Even in the somewhat wild and largely unregulated environment of Charted Space, trade is important enough to be widely respected by every major player on the interstellar commerce market.
- To break the rules is to risk widespread ostracization by the rest of the market. Not even the largest players such as the Third Imperium wish to risk becoming an economic pariah.
- In general at least a few mediums of exchange are widely accepted, even in the Imperial Fringe or in Uncharted Space, and these are:
Interstellar Mediums of Exchange Name Type Backing Remarks Supra-Polity Currency Numismia (currency) Major Races Accepted and established currencies of the major races, and their associated polity, with the Imperial Credit setting the standard for reliability, dependability, and value stability.
- These are primarily coins and bills, most with sophisticated anti-counterfeiting measures.
Cheques & Scrip Exonumia (credit) Megacorporations Cheques or megacorporate scrip backed by the standing of an Imperial Noble House, Aslan Clan, Megacorporation, or similar distributed power network.
- These are usually distributed in set denominations and amounts, limited by custom and convention.
Imperial Standard Credit Card Exonumia (credit) Third Imperium An Imperial Standard Credit Card, a marvel of technology, and, in essence, a portable bank. Cryptocurrency Exonumia (digital) Various Computers in Charted Space are sophisticated enough to break most security methods so cryptocurrencies rarely work on more than a planetary or subsector level. Direct Barter Barter (goods) Individuals Direct barter in desired goods. Indirect Barter Barter (commodity) Individuals Indirect exchange by way of precious metals, usually gallium, iridium, platinum, gold, silver, or the two strategic resources vital to jump drive manufacture.
Interstellar Commerce Expectations
These are some of the informal economic standards found within Charted Space:
Interstellar Commerce Expectations Name Type Remarks Interstellar Banking Stored Credit A number of powerful interstellar banks exist including a number outside of direct Imperial influence and control.
- Most of the most established interstellar banks are associated with megacorporations.
Interstellar Currency Medium of Exchange No interstellar currency exists throughout Charted Space. Each major race posseses its own currency associated with its major polity. As the largest and most powerful supra-polity, the currency of the Third Imperium, the Imperial Credit or Crimp, is widely accepted throughout most but not all of Charted Space.
- Some of the major race societies such as the Aslan have no unified currency.
- Others such as the Hivers appear to have one conventional currency for interstellar trade and another coup currency for interal use.
- The Zhodani and Droyne also use unconventional currencies and markets. Trade with them may take place using conventional currencies, barter of like kind, or for entirely mysterious reasons.
Interstellar Trading Stock Exchanges In an era where communication is limited to the speed of travel, stock exchanges are far more influential on a planetary level than on a subsector, sector, or galactic level.
- Nevertheless, several important stock exchanges exist, most linked to rich, very prosperous sector-level trade regions.
Currencies of the Major Races
The Major Races possess the most powerful societies within Charted Space and their currencies are the most widely accepted ones:
Currencies of the Major Races Race Name Symbol Polity Type Backing Remarks Aslan Assorted TBD Aslan Hierate Numismia (currency) Aslan Clan The Yahai and the Khaukhi are currencies sponsored by the Yerlyaruiwo and Khaukheairl clans and are used in the Spinward and Trailing sides of the Hierate respectively. Droyne Koyn TBD Droyne Oytrip Yatroy Numismia (currency) (Individual Droyne World) Not Kasting Koyns. Hiver "Biyzihn" or
- "Crims" (CrMs)
TBD Hive Federation Exonumia (credit) Hive Federation CrMS (Manipulative Symbolic Credit) "Crims" Humaniti: Terro (Tr)
- (Solomani credit)
TBD Solomani Confederation Numismia (currency) Solomani Confederation TBD Humaniti: Bureaux Cheque (Assorted) TBD Ziru Sirka (former)
- Third Imperium (present)
Exonumia (credit) Megacorporation
TBD. Company Credit. Debit Card. Humaniti: "Psion" TBD Zhodani Consulate Numismia (currency) Zhodani Consulate TBD Imperial:
Imperial Credit ("crimp") (IC) TBD Third Imperium Numismia (currency) Third Imperium Please see Imperial Currency for more information. K'kree Unknown TBD Two Thousand Worlds Numismia (currency) Two Thousand Worlds TBD Vargr Assorted TBD Vargr Extents Numismia (currency) (Vargr Polity) TBD
Epochal Commerce Periods
Commerce and trade are typically organized and grouped by chronological epochs and periods.
History & Background (Dossier)
As technological civilizations develop so does trade. Trade aids various groups by exchanging goods and services in a mutually beneficial manner. The agency of trade is one of the primary mechanisms by which early civilizations share goods and knowledge.
Commercial Power Trends
Almost all sophont societies discover that the principles of scale of economy and comparative advantage hold true for their civilization and begin to aggregate their markets into larger and larger trade blocs. The great manufacturing and trading power of the Megacorporations is a natural outgrowth of these trends.
Economy was once studied as the discipline of Political Economy and most economies are still organized at the polity level.
- The smallest functional economy on the interstellar trading stage is the world-state, an entire planet, or equivalent, that is able to trade as a unified bloc. Balkanized worlds do not trade with the same clout.
- Multi-world blocs come next, usually clusters or traces.
- Subsector groupings come next.
- Sector groupings wield considerable power in trade.
- The largest functional groupings are multisector in scope.
Trade Cartels & Guilds
Trade Cartels & Guilds Name Type Remarks Trade Cartels Trade Bloc Many of the major Trade Cartels started as guilds or corporations and later grew into megacorporations. A cartel is a sort of large, coordinated trade bloc aiming to control or dominate trade within a specific region through collusion.
- A few, such as the Amec Trade Protectorate grew into separate polities governing vast aspects of life within their zone of control. The Third Imperium will generally look the other way as long as taxes are paid, the X-boat lines flow, and the Imperial Navy has absolute freedom of passage and port.
- Some cartels have very shady connections to organized crime while others are entirely overboard within the loose guidelines of interstellar law and convention. And the Third Imperium is well known for the loose guidelines, conventions, and generalized permissivity of the largest feudal confederation found within Charted Space.
Trade Guilds Trade Organization The Trade Guilds regulate or attempt to control certain areas of commerce, usually concerning specific technologies or business segments. Sometimes the guilds function as subsidiaries of the megacorporations and at other times, they compete against them. Much like many others on the interstellar stage, just about anything goes, and local sectorwide realities may greatly vary by astrographic region.
Interstellar Merchant Service
The Interstellar Merchant Service is a multisector trade organization dedicated to the movement of goods and services throughout Charted Space. It is associated with the Third Imperium and a number of megacorporations as well as influenced by them, but is not controlled by them. It is governed by a multispecies board of sophonts and functions as a sort of neutral third-party interstellar organization in the same manner as the Starport Authority, which was founded by the Imperium, but in effect, acts through many associated branches for areas outside the Imperium proper.
Major Race Trade Matrix
No information yet available.
References & Contributors (Sources)
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- Classic Traveller Action Aboard/Adventures on the King Richard
- Classic Traveller Merchant Class Ships
- Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society 16 in Article: "Giving the Bank a Fighting Chance" by Jolly R. Blackburn
- Classic Traveller Merchant Prince (book)
- JTAS4 in article: "Trade and Commerce" by Frank Chadwick
- JTAS6 in article: "Traveller Stock Exchange" by Stan Mullins
- Periodical: Security Leak 01
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science