I was reading a part of the Mongoose 2nd edition rules (core book, pg 91) and it disagrees with most of the section on imperial banking. Is there a convention for handling cases where two editions have clearly different rules on a topic?
Also, there are several encryption algorithms that are quantum secure, so there’s no reason why electronic banking as we now know it wouldn’t work.
- The Banking section was written in 2007 and enhanced as 2009 as a fan based contribution to the wiki. In this case of a conflict between Canon and non-canon, the canon takes precedence. Please update the section with the more accurate version from the MgT2 core rules and add footnotes to the quotes from the core book. Tjoneslo (talk) 21:21, 12 February 2021 (EST)
How does this sound:
Imperial Banking (Draft)
On sufficiently advanced worlds (TL8 or higher), transactions are usually electronic, authenticated and managed by bank servers and hand-held computers or personal comms. When traveling between systems, Traveller will need to arrange for their banking information to be sent ahead, or maintain separate accounts on the worlds that they frequent. Wandering Traveller will frequently have to resort to cash and/or tradable goods. (Paraphrased/summarized from MgT2, Core Rules, page 91) DonaldMcLean (talk) 10:38, 14 February 2021 (EST)
- EXTERNAL LINK: Here Take my money...
- External Link: What are the currencies of the major races?
- External Link: A universal monetary unit
- External Link: Current Dollar-Credit Equivalent
Garnfellow Notes (2016)
The Hive Federation is, as expected, weird about money. GURPS Traveller Alien Races 3 has this on page 19:
The Hiver economy . . . is very difficult for non-Federation members to understand, though it seems to work admirably for them.
- Basically, Hivers have a strong desire for material comforts and, hence, the wealth that makes these things possible.
- But they rely on a system of credit in which an individual has a positive or negative credit balance with a particular nest. . . .
- Just how this system is regulated is a matter of some uncertainty to Humans; it seems to be largely a combination of honor and ambition on the part of the Hiver nest-member which limits unrestrained tapping of resources. . . .
- The rest of the Federation use the same monetary units as the Hiver (biyzihn, literally “hourly exchange-value notation,” worth about Cr15), but the Gurvin insist on a system closer to Imperial norms than that of the Hivers.
From the MGT: Aslan alien module:
[There] are now only three currencies in active use across Aslan space.
- 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.
- The Yahai is worth approximately 0.3 credits; the Khaukhi is worth 0.5 credits.
- The clans of the Ya’soisthea have their own currency, the Soitshi, which is roughly comparable to the credit.
- All three currencies are minted in the form of metal or plastic discs and divided into smaller denominations . . . .
- It is much easier to falsify Aslan currency than Imperial credits and many traders along the Aslan border must carefully examine all the coins before they accept them.
From the MGT Solomani alien module:
Solomani monetary and banking systems were based on those of the Imperium and the Solomani credit is virtually identical to the Imperial currency.
- Unlike the Imperium, which is rather conservative in its currency designs, the Information ministry routinely pressures the Solomani treasury to add new patriotic mottos or ‘inspirational’ designs every decade or so.
Non-canon addition (2012)
"The Imperial credit itself is backed by the Imperial and Subsidiary Fleet, or (to be precise) its transport capacity. One credit is equal to the cost of transporting one metric gram through one jump. This has made the Imperial credit safe from the economic effects of inflation and deflation for over a thousand years."
- This is not, AFAIK, canon and should at the very least be moved to a non-canon section. In my opinion, it is also extremely unlikely, to put it politely. I could be wrong, though, so rather than just delete it, I'm putting it up for debate.
- The Imperial Fleet is not in the business of moving cargo and I've never heard of the Subsidiary Fleet.
- The cost of moving something changes drastically with the available technology and in minor ways with ship design.
- The cost of moving something is radically different for different jump distances.
- A currency that is tied to anything specific is subject to inflation and deflation if the economy contracts or expands without the amount of currency in circulation changing.
My suggestion would be to substitute something like this:
- "The Imperial credit is backed by the massed economies of the Imperium's 11,000 member worlds."
[Moved from my talk page [HRM]]
On the subject of Imperial credits, I believe the part tying the Cr1 to the cost of interstellar transport per gram (or cc) has been derived from the Cr1000 per ton cargo carrying fee (per Jump-1) which is canon and published throughout CT and MT, at least.
- I have read that exact passage published somewhere in dead tree format (either GDW or GURPS) so I'm pretty confident it is canon, but whose canon I cannot recall offhand. Will have to do some more checking.
- The Imperial Subsidiary Fleet would be the -ahem- subsidized merchants and subsidized liners, no? There are quite a number of those craft plying the starlanes of the Imperium.
It costs much less than Cr1000 to move one dT one parsec. And one dT is about 14,000 cc. Metric grams are mass, not volume, so they're only equivalent to ccs if you're transporting water. And if you are, you're transporting 14,000 metric grams for Cr1000. Which would allow your competitors to undercut your price by Cr3-400 and still make a profit.
- What makes you think the Imperium subsidizes any ships? I would think that it would be the backwater worlds that did whatever subsidizing that were done. I would also think that the total tonnage of subsidized ships would be a very small fraction of the total merchant shipping.
Since there is no faster-than-light communication in Traveller (other than jump ships), there is no instant data transfer. Bank transfers and credit/debit cards cannot work, or at least not in a useful timeframe, and especially not outside major post routes.
Presumably therefore there are only three methods of paying for stuff:
- Cash (in forgery-detectable currency) - if you lose the currency, you lose the money, and anyone finding it can spend it. This appears to be the staple of the economy in Classic Traveller. However there are two other possibilties, depending on your view of Quantum Computing.
- Encrypted cashless money transfer devices (similar to Mondex) - if you lose the device, you lose the money, even if it may not be useful to anyone else. This has probably developed into a short-range wireless standard (akin to Bluetooth), which may required a hard-wired connection (plug-in) for high value transfers that require more security. This is NOT CANON.
- Cheques (encrypted electronic, paper or otherwise) with a guarantee certificate to a specified limit (similar to a 1980s-style cheque guarantee card with a 50, 100, 250 or 500 quid limit). This limit is typically only 10% or less of your average cleared deposited funds, but has the benefit that, if lost, you don't lose the money. Again, there is probably a low-security wireless protocol for small values, and a higher security wired protocol for big values. This is NOT CANON.
The problem for me is that all currently known encryption is essentially dead in the water the moment that quantum computing is widespread, and unfortunately quantum computing was invented in the real world a couple of years ago. Currently known encryption relies on solving Extremely Hard Equations (usually "This very long number has only four factors; itself, one and two prime numbers. What are the two primes?"). With quantum computing, solving mathematical equations happens immediately, as you fire all possible combinations at the equation simultaneously, and the correct ones automatically arrive as the result (similar to how light behaves with the Two Slit experiment). You do NOT need to waste time going through each possible combination one-by-one as in a traditional computer (or eight at a time in the case of a quad dual-core computer).
Quantum computing therefore means that encryption Does Not Work, unless we assume one of two Plot Devices:
- Plot Device One: Quantum computing was not invented in the 2000's, or never became widespread, and continues not to be so until the arrival of The Virus in Traveller: New Era (ie. centuries after the Classic/T20 setting).
- Plot Device Two: A new type of encryption is achieved WITHOUT the use of FTL comms that can't be beaten by quantum computing. Now I don't have a problem with "a new type of encryption is achieved... that can't be beaten by quantum computing" but my problem is "WITHOUT the use of FTL comms" because, to cut a long story short, you can't do that without FTL.
We then go back to my opening paragraph; no FTL except jump ships in Classic Traveller.
Therefore EITHER banking and encryption DOES NOT WORK in Classic Traveller (it is a cash-only economy, which is the canon view), OR there is NO QUANTUM COMPUTING in Classic Traveller/T20 despite this already having been invented recently in the real world.
- Evilandi 12:46, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
First off Banking is not dead. Each planetary system can have a functional banking system identical to what we are used to today.
- Second there is nothing stopping two neighboring systems from providing a version of a cashier's cheque. For example you go to your bank on Regina and request a draft for 5.4 MCr. They sign this with a one-time-pad use code for a bank on Roup. You travel to to Roup and go to the designated bank and open an account and have the 5.4 MCr deposited in your account, and use it locally as needed. Repeat to go to the next world. The only risk is interruption of service due to interference with the courier.
- - Dcorrin 17:49, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Encryption in the real world (2007)
There are several different methods of encrypting information, only some of which are suseptable to quantum computer factoring. The primary reason for using the prime numbers as keys methods to encrypt data is because it is fast. You can encrypt and decrypt data in a reasonable period of time, using known computer power to generate the encrypted text or return the plain text.
- The real trick here is the people who think up these encryption algorythms have not had enough time to create new encryption systems that a) take advantage of the ever increasing computer power and b) use a different key/encryption scheme which isn't as suseptable to quantum factoring (or simply Moore's law and brute force).
- Read, for example this introduction to Elliptical Curve Cryptography. ECC generates keys through the properties of the elliptic curve equation instead of the traditional method of generation as the product of very large prime numbers.
- That said, I believe you are correct, the Traveller universe is largely a cash only society. But not because of the presence or absence of quantum computing and it's ability to crack/forge encrypted documents.
- Tjoneslo 20:22, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Minor question (2007)
Is there an official term for the subdivision(s) of an Imperial Credit? I.E. a centicredit, a subcredit, etc? If there are no official terms, what are the most widespread unofficial terms?
- 18.104.22.168 12:04, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
- I've never seen any official notes about how a credit may be divided. I've seen decicredit and centicredit used (1/10th and 1/100th respectively). I've also never seen anyone use anything other than those either. Make of it what you will.
- Tjoneslo 12:19, 15 July 2007 (UTC)