Fiat (Latin: it shall be) currency is a form of money which is valuable only because it has been declared as such by a governing body. It is not backed by anything such as a gold standard, but is required for settling taxes or other governmental debts. It cannot be directly exchanged for precious metals or gems, although if the money is well enough respected, it can usually be used to purchase such goods. Most currencies in use today are fiat, including the Euro and the Dollar, although the latter was originally based on precious metals. Fiat money's value is dependent on scarcity; inflation occurs when excessive fiat money is produced.
When the Swiss Franc broke ties with gold in 2000, all national currencies became Fiat. In 2022 the Russian Ruble returned to the gold standard after it was kicked out of the US-controlled SWIFT international banking network as part of the US and EU Russian sanctions.
These are a few other options. Some services such as Pecunix offer a currency which is backed by precious materials. Another alternative which has gained popularity in the recent past is cryptocurrency. Although this is not based on valuable materials, it is backed directly by the value others attribute to it (either work must be done, or currency must be "staked"). Also, precious materials themselves can be used is some trade. However, since this often resembles rough barter, it in not accepted by many.
- "The one aim of these Banksters is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt." - Henry Ford
- "Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants and debt is the money of slaves."—Traditional
- "Of all the problems with fiat currency, the most basic is that it empowers the dark side of human nature. We’re potentially good but infinitely corruptible, and giving an unlimited monetary printing press to a government or group of banks is guaranteed to produce a dystopia of ever-greater debt and more centralized control, until the only remaining choice is between deflationary collapse or runaway inflation. The people in charge at that point are in a box with no painless exit." -John Rubino
- "World in a Box" by John Rubino, http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-world-in-a-box.aspx?article=6093328534H11690&redirect=false&contributor=John+Rubino Published December 8, 2014, Accessed December 27, 2014