Next question of my post-apocalypse series of questions, started here: Which is about manufacturing of fuel
Joe and his group have after a couple of years build up a sizeable bio-fuel production, and have started an iron/steel industry, using some of the pre apocalypse ironworks in the area to trade with other settlements in the Midwest, and have even started to create an unified government/law and culture (questions about that, for a later time).
But a large problem have occurred during their first meeting. They discovered that the different settlements had a different currency and/or different way of handling values.
Examples include Joe's group, which is communist based, basically meaning no money involved and everyone gets a job, a place to live and food is equally handed out, if one does their job (or if they have a great excuse for not work (illness, being too young to work, etc.)), and another group is mostly nomadic, scavenging Ohio and Indiana for valuables (Metals, livestock, construction plans/materials, weapons, ammunition, etc.) and use bullets as money, and lastly a group, also nomadic, which uses bottle caps.
All participants at this first unifying meeting can't decide on one defined currency. Joe want to use steel coins and bills made in his settlement, but others declined because that would give Joe's group a leading edge in inflation and control of money. The idea of using bullets was shoot down (Pun not intended) because in case of war or self-defense, they would literately throw money away. Another idea of using the bio-fuel was also drop, because then people have to haul a bottle around, every time there is a market, and all the merchants have to haul tank trailers of fuel back from the market afterwards.
They have some requirements for the currency that they wanted to use:
- Something that more that one settlement can make/control (Exemption being the scavengers for have the ability to maybe, randomly, run across a former factory of said currency, and gained an unfair advantage).
- Something that is easy to work with (no cents or similar things)
- Something that is handy (Meaning that not having to haul a two liter bottle of fuel around, every time one goes shopping).
- Something that is that can't be (easily) counterfeited.
- Something every settlement can use.
- Something that is not need for something else (example: bullets)
Some information on the settlements in this going-to-be unified company
- There are five larger settlements (300 people or more). Two which is nomadic scavengers, the rest is based on some kind of industry, being fuel, metal, lumber and/or farming.
- There are ten medium sized settlements (100 to 300 people), all which is farmers.
- There are approx. 25 small settlements (under 100 people), most which is handling stuff like maintenance of railroad tracks and roads, and building/maintaining transportation equipment (trains, ships/boats, vehicles).
- The area they cover is, the north-west Ohio, north-east Indiana, the southern part of Michigan, and the islands in Lake Erie.
Joe had hoped for an easy solution, but have run out of ideas. so he asked himself the "million dollar" question:
What could be used as an unified currency? or how could there be a compromise for said currency?