Since the Creature from Jekyll Island patch in 1913, there has been a small group of players who have figured out a way to monopolize the in-game currency systems. They’ve made deals and replaced opposition around the world in order to lock in their debt-based, interest-earning currencies as the universal standard. This small cluster of guilds (known colloquially as the Banksters), includes the Federal Reserve, The International Monetary Fund, and any “central bank”, has spread worldwide, effectively taking control of most of the world’s major zones. Of course, there has been a pushback against this monopolization of currency, and especially in the last couple decades, alternatives & counter-economic models have been multiplying rapidly.
For the last century, there have been a small handful of guild-issued currencies which have dominated the Earth’s markets, their use often violently forced onto millions of players. The Dollar, official currency of a guild calling itself “The United States” (though the currency is actually created by the Federal Reserve, and loaned to “The United States”, with interest) has been the most widely accepted & recognized currency on the planet.
The very recent “Crypto-Currency” patch has been a big success in beginning to shake the foundations of the monetary cartel, mostly through its reminding players that there are other options. It has also allowed for many players who fall outside of many of the larger metas to accumulate a large amount of in-game currency, offering quite a bit of financial support for exciting new projects around the world. At the time of this writing, a Bitcoin (the original crypto-currency) is worth almost 7,000 “dollars”, after launching just 8 years ago for a fraction of a dollar.
As always, the players adapt, and they find a way. We’ve recently seen a great rise in smaller community-based currencies, time-banking systems, and many players returning to bartering and precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) for their exchanging. Flexibility is an important factor, but one also needs to consider whether or not they want to participate in certain games or fund certain guilds.
It's very important to remember when playing Real Life that money/currencies only exist to make interacting with those whom you have no relationship easier. Many players get trapped in the grind to get more in-game currency, not realizing that it doesn't inherently increase happiness, your skills, your relationships, or anything else of major import. Just like in any other game that you've played, money doesn't carry forward into other play-throughs, is constantly worth less and less, and is easily attained through most every activity when you are having fun.
This is a (work-in-porgress) section of a book that I've been creating & sharing for some time; I am open to your insights, questions, and recommendations. To see full breakdown of the project so far, please see: The Status, Vision, and Needs of 'Real Life: The Role-Playing Game"
This project is something that is extremely important to me, something I have felt called for SO LONG to create, and I am overjoyed to be opening the container and getting input from other creators as well! If this feels exciting and empowering to you, I'd love to have you involved!