This is a hub page for all of the different currencies referenced in the Course Books and related materials.
The Gudersnipe Foundation uses the GATE Credit as currency. One GATE Credit or GC (often incorrectly defined as 'Gudersnipe Credit') is good for moving 1 cubic-foot of matter through one transit in the GATE system. Credits are issues and tracked by the Gudersnipe Bank. Because the Foundation has total control over both how many credits are issued and how many redeemed, they are able to exert a strong influence over the buying power of the credit. This has made the credit an extremely stable currency over time. While the actual buying power varies noticeably(sometimes over very short time-frames), the usual comparison of 7 credits for an inexpensive meal has been true over much of the run of the Alliance, at least in areas where GC is used.
The Alliance has long attempted to create a single, centralized currency that can be used for the exchange of goods and services throughout the known worlds. However, given income and resource inconsistencies, the buying power can be wildly inconsistent. Outside of localized regions such as the Arindell and other major centers, Alliance Dollars are primarily used for large transactions between banks. While Alliance Dollars are issued with "The full faith and backing of the Unity Earth Sphere Alliance", their lack of widespread use has made the currency relatively stable.
New Day Alliance
According to the initial New Day Alliance Charter, the government has the right to issue currency. In practice, the money issued by the TDF is much stronger, and the only thing anyone bothers to use. Initially, the Alliance attempted to simply issue more currency, but continued to see little to no adoption. The money had no backing to speak of(the alliance being little more than a human figurehead for the TDF), and saw little to no usage even within the Alliance capitol of Arindell. The Alliance did, however, have a very difficult time keeping bills and coins in circulation. It was soon discovered that the primary 'use' for Alliance-issued money was as tourist souvenirs. Rather than fight it, the Alliance embraced it, releasing commemorative coins and bills in large quantities, often with ridiculous denominations to make them seem more interesting. These were nominally legal tender, but had very little buying power and were intended as tongue-in-cheek novelties. In fact, a bill that might have a buying power of just one or two talons would often cost several wingbeats to purchase. This became a significant revenue stream for the new Alliance, even if their money was worthless.
New Alliance currency is issued as dollars and cents. Fifty-cent coins are still are minted as bus tokens, but every other denomination created past about N.D. 150 is usually in the tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
Beginning in the era of the New Day, the Trans-Draconic Federation has issued currency according to the "Land Standard". Each bill is a certificate for a percentage of a parcel of land, though they cannot be exchanged for land. Thus, the combined total of all land owned by the various member-flights provides the backing for the currency being given to humans.
The dragons issue bills in the form of Talons and Wingbeats. 20 talons is equivalent to 1 Wingbeat. While the value of the wingbeat is not pinned to the GATE Credit, the two powers generally effort to keep the buying power about the same. In most instances, one wingbeat equals one credit, though it can vary by as much as 2 talons or 0.25 credits in either direction before anyone has much concern.
High Mountain Bank and Trust also issues silver certificates for very large currency transactions, which are pinned to the fair market price of silver. These are intended for transactions between dragon flights but in practice see use for any sort of very large scale money transfers. The certificates typically have a denomination printed on them in Wingbeats, but it is commonly understood that a 100 wingbeat silver certificate is by no means worth as little as 100 wingbeats. The face value is pegged to bullion, with the wingbeat representing a bar of pure silver and a talon representing a 1 ounce coin. A 100 wingbeat silver certificate, then, is worth 100 bars of silver. That said, good luck convincing a dragon to exchange it for you.