It is often stated by Federation citizens that "We don't use (or carry) money." This is a misleading statement. All economies require the flow of some form of monetary exchange to function. What these individuals really mean is that they do not carry cash; physical tokens of value, whether coin or printed notes. Rather, the Federation at large uses an electronic credit transfer, usually quite invisible in use to both customer and merchant. This concept dates back to mid-late 20th century Earth credit and debit cards.

The following table is a representative sampling of the currencies to be found in and around the territory of the United Federation of Planets. Most interstellar trade is done using Gold-Pressed latinum as a unit of exchange, although within the Federation the Credit (¤) is ubiquitous. Individual planets often have their own currency which is used mostly for transactions on that planet. The Ferengi are unusual in that even with a unified world and interstellar travel, they still have 49 different units of exchange, although most real business (and virtually all business with non-Ferengi) is conducted using Latinum.

For game purposes, it is assumed that one Federation Credit (¤1.0) is roughly equivalent in buying power to one present-day US Dollar or one Euro. Values given beneath each currency name are given in Federation Credits. Note that the exchange rates for some currencies, particularly the Ferengi currencies, vary wildly.

United Federation of Planets Credit*
¤ 1.0
Gold-Pressed Latinum Ingot
100 Bars
¤ 100,000,000
50 Bars
¤ 1,000,000
20 Strips
¤ 20,000
100 Slips
¤ 1000

¤ 10
Bajoran Lita
¤ 1.5
Breen Mitondrium
¤ 13
Cardassian Lek
¤ 1.7
Dominion Lateral
¤ 12
Ferengi * Nondoran
¤ 1.0 - ¤ 200
¤ 1.0 - ¤ 150
¤ 1.0 - ¤ 100
Gorn Tokbar
¤ 40
Klingon Darsek
¤ 5.0 - ¤ 10
Nausicaan Chiv'vig
¤ 18
Romulan T'chak
¤ 17
Tholian Doleen
¤ 15
*Note that the Federation Credit as given on this table is worth ten times the value given in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Core rule Book. This is based on my feeling that the Credit should be roughly analogous to a dollar.
* These are three repesentative Ferengi currencies. As noted, exchange rates vary wildly, in accordance with principles known only to the Ferengi themselves. These currencies are rarely used outside Ferengi territory.

Latinum is an extremely stable metallic monomer which is liquid throughout the survivable range of temperatures for most humanoid species. Extremely difficult to replicate, it is used as a stable, freely convertible currency by most civilisations in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. For ease of handling, it is generally encased in a lightweight ingot of foamed gold alloy, hence the term "Gold-Pressed" Latinum.

Starfleet personnel do not receive a salary as such, but are allotted a line of credit against which they may draw at any time. This line of credit may be used to issue local currency when on non-Federation planets of stations, but on Federation and allied planets charges are made directly to the ship's account. Shipboard replicator use in excess of basic replicator allotment is also charged against the line of credit.

Upon retirement, Starfleet personnel receive a pension credit. This takes two forms: 1) a lump sum payable either as a credit account with a Federation financial institution or as currency, and 2) a continuing line of credit or periodic currency disbursements to cover ongoing living expenses.

This page ©2005 Owen E. Oulton