For the MACO who served on NX-01 Enterprise, please see S. Money.
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 or currency was a medium of exchange used to facilitate transactions of goods or services. Societies that used money were described as practicing currency-based economics. (DS9: "In the Cards")

Money on Earth prior to First ContactEdit

In the 19th, 20th, and early in the 21st century, dollars were one of the commonly used forms of money. (TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part II"; DS9: "Little Green Men"; VOY: "11:59"; ENT: "Carpenter Street"). Another example of currency used in Earth was the British pound (TNG: "Pen Pals", VOY: "Rise") amongst others.

During the 2020s, the United States of America used credit chips as a medium for their currency. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I"). The colloquialism "bucks" was still in use as late as 2032 to refer to money, specifically the dollar. (VOY: "One Small Step")

In 2063, Zefram Cochrane explained to Commander Riker that his motivation for inventing warp drive was to get rich.

Money was frequently an element of Holographic programs set in the past. (TNG: "The Big Goodbye", "A Fistful of Datas"; DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang")

The New World Economy Edit

Money in the 21st century sense was not used on 24th century Earth, as the result of a worldwide economic reorganization in the late 22nd century. 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:

  • In 2364, Jean-Luc Picard tried to explain to Ralph Offenhouse, a financier from the 20th century, that there would be no need for his services any longer. "A lot has changed in three hundred years," said Picard. "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 him 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 commented, "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement." Jake answered, "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... 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:

As Star Trek generally has established that in the Federation, poverty, hunger, etc. have been eradicated among member planets, it would seem that the term "starving" must be relative.
  • While inside the Nexus, Kirk described an illusion to Picard, remarking, "It's my house... I sold it years ago." Kirk was actually referring to a former home of his on Earth. (Star Trek Generations)
  • In 2374, a smiling Jake Sisko mentioned to Quark that he had "sold [his] first book" earlier that day. Seemingly surprised, Quark asked Jake how much he had acquired from the sale of the book, to which Jake further explained, "It's just a figure of speech. The Federation News Service is going to publish a book of my stories about life on the station under Dominion rule." Jake then confirmed that he had not been paid. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")

The Federation and money Edit

Wealth was not totally abandoned by all Federation citizens, and an individual such as philanthropist 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.(citation needededit)

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 also routinely extended credit to its patrons, including Federation citizens and members of Starfleet. (DS9: "Little Green Men", VOY: "Caretaker") In 2372, he sold Quark's Treasure – a damaged Ferengi shuttle which had belonged to him – for scrap after it was disabled 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 he was arrested 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 a story about Tuvok and a Vulcan master he once acquired a meditation lamp from, she included a part of the tale about how the price was doubled when he discovered they were with Starfleet. (VOY: "The Gift")

Monetary unitsEdit

Appendices Edit

Background information Edit

In the final draft script of TOS: "The Naked Time", self-appointed "Captain" Kevin Riley, while suffering from polywater intoxication, announced to the crew of the USS Enterprise that all male crewmen who attended an upcoming formal dance would be "raised one pay grade." According to Riley, this was to compensate them for all the female crewmen who attended the event each being provided with a pint of perfume from ship's stores.

In the final draft script of TOS: "Charlie X", Doctor McCoy jokingly told Captain Kirk that, if McCoy was permitted to "just sit quietly in the background and hear" Kirk give Charles Evans a disciplinary talk, he "would gladly give up a year's pay."

The final draft script of TOS: "Miri" implied that the society on Earth Two involved money, as a wig scripted to be worn by Jahn was described (in one of the teleplay's stage directions) as having a price tag still attached while the wig was being worn.

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.

In the first draft script of ENT: "Fortunate Son", when Ryan became surprised that Trip Tucker could synthesize a required amount of valve seals in approximately forty minutes, Tucker joked that he could take longer to do so but that he "charge[d] by the hour."

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.(citation needededit)

In the Mirror universe of the alternate reality-set comic "Live Evil", James T. Kirk (β) mentions a monetary unit called the "chit".

In the 25th-century timeline of Star Trek Online, a currency system called "Energy Credits" (EC) has achieved near-universal acceptance among galactic powers, including the Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire. EC may be exchanged by individuals or traded for goods and services, and many commodities have a fixed EC "cost" to obtain from a replicator. It is implied that EC are intended as a direct representation of the amount of energy used to replicate or construct a given item, allowing commodities to become "cheaper" if they can be created for less energy. It is not known whether EC is used at large in the same way as regular currency, or if it is simply a convenient way for the game to facilitate more traditional economic activity.

See AlsoEdit

External links Edit