This article deals with Currency as it relates to NationStates. For more general information, see the Wikipedia article on this subject.
For specific currencies in NS, see Category:Currencies.
Each country in NationStates has a customisable field in which players may name a national currency. Although it has no real effect on the progress of the game, it can be fun way to show one's individuality and add an aspect to roleplay.
There are only two real technical limitations and one consideration in gameplay regarding the name of national currencies: length, character type and singularity. Players may use up to 22 characters, whether upper, lower or mixed case. They may be letters, numbers, hyphens or spaces, but probably NOT (as erroneously reported by me earlier) any keyboard, ASCII or Latin-1 characters they so desire. Currencies are formatted to display in the singular, for instance in the country profile and in daily issues.
Currencies, like other customised fields, have many additional policy limitations, namely they may not include obscene, illegal, threatening, malicious or defamatory words.
Mods have already ruled that certain races or demographic groups (or epithets used to refer to them) may not serve as national animals, so this likely applies to currencies as well. It is generally recommended to not find out the hard way by wasting the valuable time of these selfless volunteers who make our NationStates experience more enjoyable.
Players can use their currencies to show their links to real world places, indicate their political ideology, demonstrate their artistic creativity, or any one of a thousand things. Sober Thought has conducted a very small but suggestive quantitative and qualitative survey of currency names on NationStates.
Currencies can be used to enhance the richness of roleplay and somewhat increase the the realism of the NationStates simulation. Although most obviously used in trade, it has many other uses for other international transactions, e.g., paying ransoms, war indemnities, merit prizes and winners of sports competitions.
NSEconomy, among others, dynamically calculates an exchange rate for every NationState country using a formula that more or less reflects how political decisions of daily issues impact on the economy. These calculators typically provide a range of other economic data upon which one may build a slightly more realistic RP scenario.
Players who rolepaly cashless economies (most notably anarchists) often list their currency as "none," or as an alternative system of exchange such as "mutual aid" or "gift economy." Less economically explicit no-cash currencies such as "love" or the "promise" are also used.
Anarchy Regional Survey
The findings of a survey conducted by Free Outer Eugenia on April 23, 2007 show that 22% of the nations in the Anarchy region have currencies that indicate cashless economies or the use of labor vouchers. The 'labor voucher' subcategory comprised 10% of the cashless economies and only 2% of the total sample. Variants on the 'mutual aid and solidarity' and 'none' themes each accounted for 40% of the cashless sample. Much of the remaining 78% was comprised of various unorthodox variants such as seeds, seashells, food products and drugs. While these may be interpreted as leaning towards a cashless economy, they were regarded as orthodox 'currencies' for the purpose of this survey.
A survey conducted in November 2005 found, not unexpectedly, dollars of one kind or another were the most popular. European-inspired currencies collectively were almost as popular. About one third of all NS currencies are based on actual, former or fictional real life currencies, in which the pound sterling and the science fiction credit also performed well.
About two thirds of all NS currencies exist only in NS and are apparently not inspired by RL currencies. Home and office terminology, no doubt encouraged by using computers on company time and dime for NS purposes, predominated, accounting for roughly a seventh of the whole total and twice as much for the NS-only main division.
The portion of naughty currency and nice names (typically relating to love or sex) was just under a tenth of the total. The true number may be higher because when classifying such things as "bone" (simultaneously a euphemism for money, penis and sexual congress; not to mention a body part), contextual cues (e.g., flag, animal, motto, national name) were used to give the most generous interpretation possible in the circumstances. Drug names were almost non-existent, being represented by a single example (cocaine).
About a twentieth of players chose generic names like "money," "currency" and "trinket," sometimes modified to reflect a country's interests.