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Ferengi coin

A Ferengi coin

"Well, if you don't need money, then you certainly don't need mine!"
– Nog, 2373 ("In the Cards")

Money was a medium of exchange used to facilitate transactions of goods or services.

In the 20th century and early in the 21st century, dollars were a commonly used form of money. (DS9: "Little Green Men"; ENT: "Carpenter Street") Other common forms of currency were the pound, euro, and yen. (citation needededit)

During the 2020s, the United States of America used credit chips as a form of currency. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

The New World Economy Edit

Money in the 21st century sense was not used on 24th century Earth. The exact nature of the Federation economy was difficult to describe; while money may not have entirely ceased to exist, it did not play the central role in the lives of Federation and Earth citizens that it once did. The descriptions given by various Federation citizens varied:

  • Jean-Luc Picard tried to explain to Ralph Offenhouse from the 20th century that there would be no need for his law firm any longer: "A lot has changed in three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of 'things'. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions." (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")
  • When Lily Sloane asked how much the USS Enterprise-E cost to build, Picard told her "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century... The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity." (Star Trek: First Contact)
  • When Nog suggested that Jake should bid for a baseball card in an auction, Jake said "I'm Human, I don't have any money." Nog replied "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement." Jake said "Hey, watch it. There's nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." Nog then replied "What does that mean?" Jake responded "It means we don't need money!" Nog quickly pointed out, however, that Jake wouldn't be able to bid or borrow. (DS9: "In the Cards")

Money as a figure of speech Edit

In certain cases, references to money were made in a manner that were construed or explained as euphemistic or idiomatic, with no literal implications of money directly being used:

The term "starving" is certainly relative, as Trek generally has established that in the Federation, poverty, hunger, etc. have been eradicated among member planets. The implication is that while everyone in the Federation enjoys, at a minimum, a comfortably adequate standard of living, there are some whose standard is higher than others.
  • While inside the Nexus, Kirk described an illusion to Picard: "It's my house... I sold it years ago," referring to his former home on Earth. (Star Trek Generations)

The Federation and money Edit

However, wealth was not totally abandoned by all Federation citizens and an individual such as Carter Winston could acquire a vast personal fortune during the late 23rd century. (TAS: "The Survivor")

Notably, the crew of the USS Voyager, faced with severe resource limitations after being flung into the Delta Quadrant, treated rations on replicator and holodeck use as currency and traded these among themselves.

Bartender Quark had repeated financial interactions with Federation personnel. On numerous occasions, Starfleet officers gambled to win latinum at Quark's Bar, including Julian Bashir, Thomas Riker, and Jadzia Dax. (DS9: "Statistical Probabilities", "Playing God", "Business as Usual", "Change of Heart", "Defiant"; TNG: "Firstborn") His bar would also extend credit to its patrons, including Federation citizens and members of Starfleet. (DS9: "Little Green Men", VOY: "Caretaker") In 2372 he sold his damaged shuttle Quark's Treasure for scrap in the Sol system, and was given enough to cover passage back to Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Little Green Men") Later that year Benjamin Sisko threatened Quark to collect on five years "back rent" that was unpaid, though the actual motivation behind the threat was not fiscal. (DS9: "Bar Association") Quark later stated that he was in debt to some unnamed Humans, but considered defaulting on them a trivial matter. (DS9: "Body Parts") In 2373, he indirectly caused damage to a cargo bay, and was informed that he would have to bear the burden for the repairs, though it was not clear if this burden was financial in nature. (DS9: "Business as Usual") When Quark rescued Gaila from a Federation starbase after his arrest on Thalos VI, he had to pay a fine before he could be released. (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")

It was not specified that the fine was owed or paid to Starfleet or the Federation.

Other mentionsEdit

  • When Kathryn Janeway told Kes the story of Tuvok and the Vulcan master he acquired a meditation lamp from, she included the bit about how the price was doubled when he discovered they were with Starfleet. (VOY: "The Gift")

Monetary units Edit

Appendices Edit

Background information Edit

Ronald D. Moore commented: "By the time I joined TNG, Gene [Roddenberry] had decreed that money most emphatically did NOT exist in the Federation, nor did 'credits' and that was that. Personally, I've always felt this was a bunch of hooey, but it was one of the rules and that's that." (AOL chat, 1997)

A cut scene in the script of Star Trek: First Contact would have established that, as of 2063, "no one" had used currency in ten years, apparently due to scarcity. However, a currency called Dome money was also mentioned.

An ultimately omitted line of dialogue from the final draft script of ENT: "Carpenter Street" featured 21st century Human Loomis exclaiming to 22nd century Vulcan T'Pol, "You act like money doesn't mean anything!"

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, screenwriters of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, said in a question-and-answer session with fans that "there's money, or some kind of credit system" in the alternate reality. [1]

Apocrypha Edit

There are many mentions of payment and currency in the TNG novel Balance of Power by Dafydd ab Hugh.

There are non-canonical references to Federation citizens receiving allotments of Replicator Credits (to provide food and other material needs) and Structure Credits (for housing and storage) in some Star Trek-derived works.

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