Are Banknotes back?

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MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
Are Banknotes back?

Banks, would still have a use in being authoritative in who has credits, and the authority over credit scores.

If I travel sometime where it can take multiple hours to contact my bank, and I still need to spend like some hard cold cash (figuratively speaking), so I have banknotes. The banknote say that my bank promises that I have this much money. And that lets me spend readily, without each transaction taking hours.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Banknotes, as in the physical

Banknotes, as in the physical representation of currency?

Absofuckingloutely not. The battle between counterfeiters and counterfeiting countermeasures would be taking place 24/7/365, and the equipment to detect the latest and most advanced forgeries would need to basically have three cornucopia machines built into it so they could be manufacturing the latest and newest scanners the moment the specs are ready. The reason for three CM bays is because the specs would be being updated faster than a single CM could produce a scanner.

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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Outside of using Lunar banks

Outside of using Lunar banks on Jupiter, or other pretty optional things, where exactly is it going to take hours to contact a bank?

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
No, not physical notes. Just

No, not physical notes. Just a thing that certifies that they're spending creidts in good fait that the bank will give you the money.

As for the time thing. Venus from Earth, where Venus is at the opposite side of the sun, is something like 108m km away. So the signal would have to travel half the orbital distance of Venus then to Earth. Which I worked out to take ~18 light minuets. 36 minuet round trip at the shortest. Mercury would take a similar amount of time. Mars would be ~6.6hrs, 13.2hrs round trip.

(My back of the envelope math was to use half of the orbital circumference as a perfect circle, for the distance the signal would have to travel.)

To get better numbers would probably need some reasonable bullshitting for where the signal repeaters are in orbit around the planets. There probably a pretty major repeater station at L3.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I'd imagine financial

I'd imagine financial transactions are pretty easy to do with QE comm. They don't have a very large file size, so while QE comm bandwidth is expensive, that's a really cheap use. Simply tacking it onto the transaction as a processing fee seems easy to do.

Beyond that, I'd imagine most of the inner system is pretty connected banking-wise so simply bringing along financial data with the rest of the egocast packet seems easy enough. A system pretty similar to the way modern debit/credit cards should work. Money is deducted from the account holder (which can be done locally), but isn't transferred to the merchant until a typically daily check in with the bank. This isn't done locally in the present day, but it should be possible to make such a system to beat out light-lagged banking.

Using less back of the envelope math (wolfram alpha) the maximum distance between earth and venus is about 14 light minutes, while the maximum Martian distance (from earth) is about 24 minutes. Straight line distance between planets seems ok to use, as a lot of that will be neutrino comms, it will be a little longer for laser or radio link. If you have some of the preliminary parts of the financial transaction done locally to avoid keeping people waiting it seems pretty doable. There is a hacking risk here (that someone could locally change the amount of money in their account, pay for something, and make off with it before the transaction clears), but I imagine that interplanetary banking is pretty well insured (one thing the PC is very good for), and the law has pretty long arms in the inner system, so this vulnerability doesn't seem critical.

In most of the outer system, where the distances become unbearably long money isn't used much, so that's not a problem. (A potential reason for rep systems to work better out there). That's why I brought up Jupiter from the inner system, it's far away, and banking might be harder thanks to the security conscious JR. The maximum Earth-Jupiter distance is about 54 minutes, so a nearby 2 hour time for each stage of the transaction to clear seems like more of a problem.

I'd guess most banking between the inner and outer system is either done by a few well insured banks, or mostly done with QE comms. I don't know a whole lot about how exactly electronic banking works though, so everything here might be pretty off base.

So in the end I think banknotes are back, in the form of well encrypted local banking info to speed up transactions for the convenience of the buyer.

I suspect there are a few potential campaign hooks hidden here. Perhaps a hacker is cracking local encryption on people's wallets, which might require skills or equipment beyond the norm (maybe an async hacker, or someone using TITAN built computronium as a decryption machine). Maybe just someone trying to destabilize inner system economies.

For banking as a whole, I could see using QE comms or similar quantum tricks to try to send trading info slightly into the past, for Retroactive High Frequency Trading, which should set off Firewall's red alerts pretty hard.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
Actually I would think

Actually I would think everyone would be their own decentralized bank. Oversight would would regulate and set the value of credits by being the backers but everyone would just have their entire liquidity on them at all times.

For corporate and large entity transactions things would probly get a bit more complicated but probly not much more than our normal account payable and receivable system we currently have in place

SquireNed SquireNed's picture
One thing to consider is that

One thing to consider is that you don't necessarily need real-time transactions that frequently. Most banks probably have branches or sister entities on most habitats, and even if they update according to the limitations of light speed the funds are still going to transfer as quickly as you do.

In addition, the likely issues are pretty easily dealt with. There's a marginal chance that someone will fork themselves and spend the full amount of their bank account balance in multiple places at the same time, and that sort of thing already has analogous comparisons IRL with things like checks.

Basically, you can't outrun the flow of money, and if you needed to pay money you don't yet have somewhere for some reason you would probably get instantaneous authorization from a local branch and suffer consequences after the fact if you spent more than you had.

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Banknotes may not be a thing,

Banknotes may not be a thing, but this is some great stuff to get hooks for freelancer work, the aforementioned long arm of the law probably has private contractors like bounty hunters running down people committing fraud based on these delays in communications.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

SquireNed SquireNed's picture
Not to mention the fact that

Not to mention the fact that there's probably a handful of cryptographic physical currencies: lock your credits into a physical form for transfer.

The security sucks, but it's good enough for transactions made in good faith: you'd probably have one-use codes with authorization, so you could theoretically double-up on credits with counterfeiting equipment, but whenever they were first transferred (which could be done automatically via PAN) the old physical forms would be obsoleted (out-of-date key) and the credits would be associated with a new one-time key. QE could be used in EP to facilitate this, but it'd be somewhat pricey for what you get.

Coincidentally, this is not entirely dissimilar from the old-school checking account method, only with the potential for reuse of a credit unit (you could theoretically make a "coin" with the ability to have fluctuating value and near-infinite transfers).

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
TBH for something like crypto

TBH for something like crypto keys QE bandwidth is pretty much ok. They aren't very large, and you get somewhere in the realm of TBs or PBs worth of transfer out of a qubit store. (Depends on how well the video is compressed)

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
I would argue against Banks

I would argue against Banks using QE Comms. They would seem to expensive for me to use for such mundane communications. It probably exist for commercial accounts, when getting that data as soon as possible really matters, but for private transactions, I woulnd't think so.

Does EP use neutrino radios for everyday communication? I thought farcasters made use of x-ray lasers, and other tight beamed data transfer for the least amount of corruption?

As for the thing that Ned brought up. I really like it. Maybe that can be EPs version of bearer bonds. They have a one time access code, which its issuing Bank will honor and cash our but until then they're treated like physical currency. They couldnt be broken into smaller dominations, and I imagine they would only be for large amounts of currency. Maybe the smallest unit being 1k credits. They would be harder to trace too forensically. As one of the downside to digital currency is its inherent paper trail. (I'm aware of laundering, but thats just extra expense to transactions)

SquireNed SquireNed's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:TBH

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
TBH for something like crypto keys QE bandwidth is pretty much ok. They aren't very large, and you get somewhere in the realm of TBs or PBs worth of transfer out of a qubit store. (Depends on how well the video is compressed)

QE stores require physical transportation between two points; it's not the item, it's the effort to set it up that makes up much of the cost.

MrWiggles wrote:
As for the thing that Ned brought up. I really like it. Maybe that can be EPs version of bearer bonds. They have a one time access code, which its issuing Bank will honor and cash our but until then they're treated like physical currency. They couldnt be broken into smaller dominations, and I imagine they would only be for large amounts of currency. Maybe the smallest unit being 1k credits.

Back for an old cyberpunk game I was working on, I used "ccoins" or something like that as a physical storage of credits; they were basically microchips inside a coin that could hold a bitcoin analogue. Typically they don't have a set amount, because the user sets them for whatever they need, or, if preparing them far in advance, whatever they think they'll need, using their bank. Alternatively, they're used as underground "off-grid" currency in much the same fashion, but the actual amount on the coin is flexible.

I didn't really explore the concept enough, but it could theoretically result in situations where an off-grid character would have ccoins in a denomination that wasn't appropriate for what they wanted to spend it on, requiring them to either set up a bank account, transfer to another ccoin, or likewise, but college freshman me wasn't as smart as I am today.

Burnsidhe Burnsidhe's picture
I could see something like

I could see something like this working. It would be a memory chip with a cryptography circuit and a 'trusted authority' certificate to verify that the issuing authority is a valid one. On the chip would be something like a Bitcoin wallet containing the 'funds' issued as credits. The standard would have to be a universal one.

What you'd do on the other end, however, is trade the cryptocoin to a bank or some other entity in exchange for local funds. They'd advance you the local funds as a loan, effectively, until the balance on the cryptocoin was verified with the issuing authority.

(this is basically the way checks work now, except without the added security measures.)

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
You guys are basically

You guys are basically reinventing the wheel. It was called the "Credstick," and it was invented in Shadowrun 1e. :)

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Burnsidhe Burnsidhe's picture
Yes, we know about credsticks

Yes, we know about credsticks. However, there really aren't very many details about how credsticks *work* in Shadowrun. They "just do".

This is about how something similar would work in Eclipse Phase, where the details matter for story reasons and plot hooks, extrapolated off of real world technologies.

Voormas Voormas's picture
I heard about a group who

I heard about a group who used a big favour to make sure someone checking their balance would be fooled for an hour or so into thinking they would make a big purchase, but they wouldn't be able to spend any of those creds - I think it would be cool to have some way in the rules to model that or at least present a credible (boom boom) explanation for that happening in-game, but honestly think that the mechanics of credits (and reputation to an extent) will end up falling into the space-lumber* pile for me

*(you're on a ship, players go poking around > you describe future-crates and boxes as scenery > players want to know what's in the boxes; space-lumber aka forget about it)

Zarpaulus Zarpaulus's picture
MrWigggles wrote:

MrWigggles wrote:

Does EP use neutrino radios for everyday communication? I thought farcasters made use of x-ray lasers, and other tight beamed data transfer for the least amount of corruption?

I think Farcasters use Quantum Encrypted neutrino radios, sometimes optical lasers. X-ray lasers would have too short a wavelength for that kind of range.