Imperial Currency

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Ten Imperial Credits (Cr10)

"Imperial Currency:" The basic unit of legal tender in the Third Imperium is the Imperial credit.

  • The Imperial Credit is sometimes informally known as the CRIMP (Credit Imperial).
  • A megacredit is one million credits. Megacredits are abbreviated MCr. [1]

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Credit (abbreviated Cr). The common Imperial monetary unit. A hand calculator costs Cr10. For very large amounts of money, the kilocredit (abbreviated KCr) represents a total of one thousand credits, and the megacredit (abbreviated MCr) represents a total of one million credits. A ship’s boat costs MCr16. Note that the abbreviation comes first, and there are no spaces before the number. Truly large concepts for money or value are called "aryu" (for RU, resource unit).

Larger credit units (GCr or BCr for gigacredit or billion credits, and TCr for teracredit or trillion credits) are generally not used, at least for practical business matters. When talking about quantities of wealth that large, other attributes (such as location and form of the wealth) beyond sheer quantity become important enough that it is often more useful to speak of resource units.

Image Repository[edit]

  1. Checks are still used throughout Imperial Space.
    Imperial Currency-T5 Brannon-Boren-27-Aug-2019b.jpg
  2. Bank notes from Rhylanor (world).
    Currency-T5-Fan-Andy-Bigwood 06-Oct-2019a.jpg

Currency Abbreviations[edit]

  1. Cr: Imperial Credit = 1.0 credit
  2. DCr: Decacredit = 10.0 credits
  3. KCr: Kilocredit = 1,000.0 credits
  4. MCr: Megacredit = 1,000,000.0 credits
  5. BCr: Billion credits = 1,000,000,000.0 credits
  6. GCr: Gigacredit = 1,000,000,000.0 credits
  7. TCr: Trillion credits = 1,000,000,000,000.0 credits

Physical Attributes[edit]

Imperial credits are almost impossible to counterfeit because of their unique method of manufacture. Plastic fibers are combined under high temperature and pressure and extruded as a rectangular bundle of great length. The different colored fibers form the pattern of the bill. It is not printed on but actually made a part of the structure of the note. The bundle is sliced to paper thinness, and a 14-digit alphanumeric (letter/number combination) is added for uniqueness.

Currency Denominations[edit]

Credit bills are issued in the following denominations:

  • 10
  • 20
  • 50
  • 100
  • 500
  • 1,000
  • 10,000

Plastic coins, manufactured in a similar manner in various shapes, are issued in the following denominations:

  • Quarter-
  • Half-
  • 1
  • 5

The larger coins are often called by informal names, which reflect their value:

  • The "kilo" (Cr 10)
  • The "ton" (Cr 100)
  • The "toi" (Cr 500)
  • The "low passage" (Cr 1,000)
  • The "high passage" (Cr 10,000)

Currency Dimensions[edit]

Bills measure 75 millimeters x 125 millimeters; 1,000 bills stand 50 millimeters high and weigh 500 grams.

Imperial credits can be bulky in large quantities.

Imperial Currency Usage[edit]

Sub-polities within the Imperium may and often do issue their own currency including the following:

  • Planetary (World) Currencies: Individual worlds may issue their own currencies, and those currencies may or may not be acceptable on other worlds.
  • Corporate (Megacorporation) Scrip: Similarly, corporations and megacorporations may issue scrip, and its acceptance outside of the corporate environment is a matter of conjecture.

However, Imperial credits are accepted everywhere in the Third Imperium and in many locations outside of it.

The Imperial credit is backed by the massed economies of the Imperium's roughly 11,000 member worlds. This has made the Imperial credit safe from the economic effects of inflation and deflation for over a thousand years.

Credits on a polity scale are typically measured in MCr or BCr:

  • MCr: Millions of credits or 1,000,000.00.
  • BCr: Billions of credits or 1,000,000,000.00.

Imperial Banking[edit]

Within the Imperium, banks exist only as deposit accounts, safety deposit boxes and investment groups, requiring an in-person visit to the same, or nearby, branch every time.

This results in an essentially cash-only economy, though local banks may provide electronic banking services on an intra-planetary level or within a single star system.

Interstellar banking has not proven feasible without faster-than-light data communications, at least not in the sense that banking was understood on ancient Terra. There are factors preventing this:

  • In the absence of near-instant faster-than-light data communication, there is no way for a local trader to accurately assess a balance in a distant account at any given time and no way to quickly transfer money to distant accounts. Archaic methods of electronic funds transfer such as direct deposit, direct debit and wire transfers do not work.
  • Local time does not synchronize with distant time. Time is only constant locally; time may pass faster or slower at a distant bank, relatively speaking. Therefore it is virtually impossible to enforce expiry dates on credit guarantees, and unwise to assume that a distant financial institution is still liquid, if indeed it still exists. Cheques and credit cards (in their old Terran forms) cannot function. See also Offices of the Emperor with regard to the Office of Calendar Compliance.
  • Data encryption is problematic. Certainly by the time of the Reformation Coalition's founding in 1200, data encryption had become essentially worthless for financial purposes, and therefore one could not rely on some method of portable money transfer device similar to the old Terran prepaid debit cards since there would be no way of electronically authenticating either the user or the sum available. Essentially, widespread quantum computing negates data encryption. See the discussion under Talk:Imperial_Currency#Banking .

Imperial Standard Credit Card This card is effectively a portable bank teller. A microprocessor unit tracks the account and contains information for personal identification. Made of plas-steel, the card is practically indestructible. It is nearly tamper-proof, in that most attempts to tamper with it merely result in blanking the card.

Merchants in systems with a technology level of 13 and higher accept this card. It may be used in any Imperial starport to get Imperial credits, local currency or debit cards drawn on local banks if local technology supports it. Identification information consists of a thumbprint activator and a record of the owner's retina print. The latter is checked for verification on all transactions over Cr100,000.

Only the very wealthy may obtain the Iridium Edition of the card. It contains the owner's DNA code, allowing for positive identification and unlimited reliability. Starships have been purchased on these cards.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Imperial Currency survived as a stable currency until the time of the Second Civil War.

Currency in the Shattered Imperium 1116-1130[edit]

Imperial credits were still legal tender in the Domain of Deneb and its successor the Regency; their acceptance in other areas of the divided Imperium varied widely during the Rebellion and the financial system collapsed after Virus on most worlds. Several pocket empires like the Reformation Coalition began minting their own credit based on transport capacity, but most worlds still used a local currency backed by their own industrial production or even rare metals.

Currency in Use Following the Fall of the Third Imperium[edit]

Beginning circa 1125, the use of specie (coins made of metal) grew until it became more valuable than scrip ("folding money" made of paper or plastic fiber). The Outworlds now use coins minted from traditional precious metals.

Metal Mass Credits
Copper 50 grams Cr0.2
Silver 30 grams Cr10
Gold 30 grams Cr300

These coins are available for a 2% surcharge from Outworld customs currency exchange counters. They are recognized on all Frontier worlds and are sometimes available for direct exchange (in about half of all cases). Safe worlds sometimes accept coins for their scrap metal value but merchants generally do not recognize them as currency.

See also[edit]

Third Imperium[edit]

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.