Large amounts of cash on ships

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
wbnc
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1552
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:57 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby wbnc » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:38 pm

-Daniel- wrote:
phavoc wrote: But banking houses aren't stupid. They aren't going to just give money to anyone e who just pops into a system. There is such a thing called comments on sense that says don't lend money to strangers. Why would a bank on Regina lend 10 or 20% of the value of a starship to someone who has no local established roots? The answer is they wouldn't. Just like that same free trader isn't going to be able to pick up multi million credit cargoes for delivery elsewhere without establish a history of being trustworthy.
This is why in MTU I have some small merchant consortiums that one can join to prove their value. Once approved they are added to the "Trusted Member rolls and you then gain some additional benefit when trying to be trusted to carry a cargo or do a deal. The consortium in a sense becomes a co-signer. :mrgreen:

I use the same sort of set up for several games. A captain signs up with a bonding agency who insures the value of his cargo against theft damage or loss. The Agency does a check on the new member and collects yearly dues. A bonded ship is a trusted carrier, while people wh can not afford or are refused a band are forced to operate by picking up small low profit jobs, or cargoes the more reputable carriers don't want to mess with.

A security deposit worth (x) Mcr can be placed into the Agencies keeping, for ships that carry high vale, or high priority cargoes. Payment from the customers can also be placed inn a holding accont to make sure both the shipper, and the carrier have a guarantee of delivery and payment.

if a complaint is filed against a bonded ship the agency can fine the carrier, seize any security deposit made by the ship owner, or revoke the owners bond. they can also blacklist customers who try to cheat a carrier to ensure both sides play by the rules
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7313
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Condottiere » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:38 am

You could set up a Captain's Guild, or a Merchantmen Trust, and being in good standing adds a couple of dee emms during contract negotiations and encounters.
-Daniel-
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby -Daniel- » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:30 am

Condottiere wrote:You could set up a Captain's Guild, or a Merchantmen Trust, and being in good standing adds a couple of dee emms during contract negotiations and encounters.
Call the consortiums what ever you like, but they do offer a possible answer to the question of "how do we know we can trust you?" in the bigger scheme of the multi-sector setting. :D
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7313
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Condottiere » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:41 am

If we take the Asian model, trust is greater if you're a blood relative, or married to one.

Or the Western one, where a relative is collateral against good behaviour; actually, you do that in Shogun as well, but you also lose the services of a trusted field commander, though not necessarily a competent one.
ochd
Mongoose
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:33 am
Location: Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby ochd » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:54 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:59 am
I am trying to figure out a way to reduce the risk for ships and increase a safer type of trading/banking system.
Hey there,

Reviving this old thread, as I was wondering the same thing (obviously treading a very well-worn path). May I ask, what if anything did you figure out in the end?

Dan.
PsiTraveller
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 866
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:47 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:50 pm

My problem was trying to institute a banking system under the Drinaxian campaign, so trust in the issuing bank/entity is more of an issue than a bank in the Imperium.

I resolved it by using elements of things I have written and put up for sale on TAS (Jump Station Echo), which is a J4 communication system allowing a link to Imperial banking interests at Fist, and an encrypted card that parties recognize. It is a web of trust that moves at the speed of a Jump system information/Xboat information exchange. There is some hand waving. Most of the Trojan Reach uses Imperial cash (IMTU anyway). Local currency is not recognized outside of the system.

The Kingdom of Drinax (IMTU) is building a reputation as an issuer of local fiat currency that is backed by enough real metals and radioactives to be somewhat respectable.. Basically a rich asteroid that is being converted into usable products and local assets. Sort of a gold/platinum/lanthanum fort Knox concept to give a veneer of respectability to the local King. The High tech advantage of the Drinaxians growing navy is allowing them to develop a bigger stick than folks at first gave them credit for.

My campaign is less piracy and more multi tier trade negotiations with the occasional bouts of assassination thrown in for political effect. Yours may be different.

SO there is a hodgepodge of Imperial currency and local money that can buy solid goods at a set rate. This is as far as I have had to go so far.
Spartan159
Mongoose
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:46 pm
Location: Lake Butler Florida USA

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Spartan159 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:33 am

Hopefully a big enough stick to swat some kitties. Imperium really needs to say tell the young'uns to move elsewhere. Cats need a reminder. Bah. Humbug. get off'n my space-lawn. other general grumps.
xnet445
Weasel
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:34 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby xnet445 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:40 pm

-Daniel- wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:30 am
Condottiere wrote:You could set up a Captain's Guild, or a Merchantmen Trust, and being in good standing adds a couple of dee emms during contract negotiations and encounters.
Call the consortiums what ever you like, but they do offer a possible answer to the question of "how do we know we can trust you?" in the bigger scheme of the multi-sector setting. :D
In our old campaign a lot of the cargo we carried came with a supercargo, either the actual owner or his rep, precisely because no one DID trust a shady tramp freighter. Made for some good adventure hooks.
PsiTraveller
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 866
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:47 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:02 pm

I wrote an adventure for TAS based on that idea, a merchant going along the route with the cargo, although it can get pricey at 6200 Credits a Jump 1 and 9000 a Jump 2. It will depend on the value of the cargo. Or the cheaper companies could book Basic Passage for some newbie grunt to ride along with the cargo to hand over the paperwork and get paid. :D
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7313
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:25 pm

Image

Casino chips.

A pretty effective way to launder money interstellarly.
PsiTraveller
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 866
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:47 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:50 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_money_in_New_France

Playing cards issued and redeemed for Imperial currency. :P

If the chips were high tech and recognized from one casino in a system to another, it might be a way to move money with fewer questions. A fortune might be hidden in the gaming table in the crew lounge.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7313
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Condottiere » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:23 pm

Image
steve98052
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 926
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby steve98052 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:29 am

PsiTraveller wrote:
Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:42 am
. . .
Data encryption is problematic. Certainly by the time of the Reformation Coalition's founding in 1200, data encryption had become essentially worthless for financial purposes, and therefore one could not rely on some method of portable money transfer device similar to the old Terran prepaid debit cards since there would be no way of electronically authenticating either the user or the sum available. Essentially, widespread quantum computing negates data encryption. See the discussion under Talk:Imperial_Currency#Banking .
. . .
Actually, there are encryption algorithms today that are resistant to quantum computing. They're not widely used at this point because quantum computing hasn't passed the laboratory level, but they're ready for when they're needed.

(Usually I read a whole thread before replying, and combine replies if I want to reply to several, but this thread is already three pages and I'm out of play time for now.)
locarno24
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3062
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:46 pm
Location: Wildly Variable

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby locarno24 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:56 am

There are and have always been means of encryption resistant to any 'brute-force' decryption.
Modern mathematical encryption uses mathematics and ludicrously high prime numbers, but old-style 'codebook' ciphers like a one-time pad (at a basic level 'replace a word or phrase with the page, paragraph and word number to locate that word in a book unknown to anyone outside those two parties') do not.

They have their own risks - namely that you have to convey a copy of the codebook to both ends of the transmission without it being intercepted - but if it works, and a mathematical approach does not, the bank will suck it up and hire a merc gunship to make a tour of its branches with the new key file.

Ultimately, banking is in the same situation it was in in the 18th/19th century; technological encryption didn't work then (because it hadn't been invented yet), Biometric validation impossible (same problem), instant communication wasn't available, and 'checking up' on a letter of credit between Europe and various colonies could take weeks or months.

Nevertheless, letters of credit between established banking houses were made to work then, and whilst fraud no doubt occurred, the banks which stayed in business (and in some cases are still in business today) were smart enough to keep it within fiscally tolerable levels.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
Tom Kalbfus
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:30 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:56 pm
Epicenter: You got triggered from a question about a role playing game and want to facedesk about a question on transferring money from one imaginary star system to another imaginary star system? Sorry to hear that.

I asked a question about transferring money around, and then quoted an article from the traveller wiki, I posted the link. I even asked the same question about the credit card at the end of my post, after the line "end of quote". I have to admit I did not use the quote code to make the nice blocks of text like you did, But I did quote the article at the start and say end of quote at the end. So I asked about the article and the issues it raises. Issues that even your solution does not answer.

After I quoted the article I said:

"Ignoring the Reformation Coalition section, the issue is that a bank in one system cannot guarantee that a Letter of Credit from a bank in another system is valid. The Imperial Standard Debit Card seems to act a a prepaid credit card in that it says you are worth X amount of money and as you draw that money out you have less money. This is recognized, but to be honest I am not sure how this is different then a letter of Credit from a bank in another system. The letter of Credit says you gave X amount of money to that other bank. How is a card different?

Even with X boat service you are still looking at 2 weeks delay in finding out if the Letter of Credit is any good. So all transactions may be delayed until you can establish an account in a new system? I am not sure."

So I am confused as well as to how an encryption problem and lack of trust is solved by a card, especially one that can buy spaceships.

AS it turns out this is addressed on Page 91 of the Core rulebook, something I missed when I wrote my question. You can have a bank send your records ahead of you to the next system to transfer your balance. The problem of the lack of FTL communication is addressed in the same sidebar. It also mentions that physical cash, radioactives and precious metals are used as barter on many worlds.

Your letter of credit solution is a system that might work, but there are risks as you mentioned. The risk of Nobles not knowing each other, or even not liking each other is one. The need to speak to each Noble along the way to keep the letter of credit fresh may well slow down travel times. (You can see his Lordship next thursday afternoon). The risk of fees and shakedowns to get a letter of credit rears its head. One option is to have daily ships bringing daily updates. but that could get to be expensive.

As for Megacorp banks sending updates on the X boat networks or similar systems to synchronize important records does not address the issue raised in the wiki article about not trusting data from another system. There could have been a massive earthquake or stock market crash or military attack or anything else the GM comes up with to cause assets to just disappear.

1st edition addressed this on page 86 of the Core rules and offered the same letter of credit solution but then said that private citizens must make arrangements for themselves.
"It is possible to notify one’s bank and have a line of credit sent ahead (or at least sent at the same time) if you know your destination but wandering travellers must often use physical cash or trade goods. In addition to physical credits, precious metals, gemstones, radioactive elements or technological wonders are sometimes used as barter on many worlds."

So the triggering problem of a lack of monetary trust among star systems has been in the game since the first edition. And the issue of wandering travellers needing physical cash or high value goods as barter goods has been in the game the entire time.

The Fiat currency of the Imperium is addressed in the same article I quoted http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Imperial_Currency
Imperial Currency Usage

Sub-polities within the Imperium may and often do issue their own currency including the following:

Planetary (World) Currencies: Individual worlds may issue their own currencies, and those currencies may or may not be acceptable on other worlds.
Corporate (Megacorporation) Scrip: Similarly, corporations and megacorporations may issue scrip, and its acceptance outside of the corporate environment is a matter of conjecture.

However, Imperial credits are accepted everywhere in the Third Imperium and in many locations outside of it.

The Imperial credit is backed by the massed economies of the Imperium's 11,000 member worlds. This has made the Imperial credit safe from the economic effects of inflation and deflation for over a thousand years.

Credits on a polity scale are typically measured in MCr or Bcr:

MCr: Millions of credits or 1,000,000.00.
BCr: Billions of credits or 1,000,000,000.00.
So physical cash is always trusted, but banks are deposit only as per the article. My question to the board was has anyone else come up with an answer for the problem of the lack of FTL information?
The correct Metric prefixes are MegaCredits MCr or Millions of Credits and GigaCredits GCr or Billions of Credits.
steve98052
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 926
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby steve98052 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:53 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:59 am
. . .
I am interested in this because across the Sindal sector, where the 2nd edition game is focused, there is little Imperial Presence. There are Starports (a lot of them GeDeCo), there are a few Navy ships. But there will not be a centralized banking infrastructure. So ships may well have cases of cash on them, raising the stakes for theft and piracy. I am trying to figure out a way to reduce the risk for ships and increase a safer type of trading/banking system.
Although there may be little Imperial presence, it's close enough to the Imperium that the Imperial Credit could be the standard currency. In the real world, any time a nation has been in a state of economic chaos such that their own currency was distrusted, major country currencies – US Dollars, Euros, etc. – have been favored over the local currency.

Before the Euro, the US Dollar was widely used in Europe as a medium for international exchange, even though there were plenty of respected European currencies to choose from, simply because it avoided issues like a French business and a German business arguing over whether to price a deal in Francs or Marks. I seem to recall reading in the 1980s that there was more US cash (in dollar volume, mostly in $100 notes) in Europe than in the US, because it was immune to political squabbles between European nations.

Based on that, I would expect that the Imperial Credit would be the standard currency of trade well outside the Imperium – probably well outside the region in which the Imperium would have any other influence – except in places where it was politically toxic. So trade deals might well be priced in Imperial Credits deep into Gzaefueg sector, two sectors from the Imperium, but maybe not in Cronor subsector, just outside the Imperium.
Bitcoin might do the trick, convert everything to encrypted data and banks accept it. The issue that might happen there is a Free Trader depositing 1 million in cash to a bank and getting bitcoin. The Free Trader leaves the system, taking 1 million in bitcoin as data. There are still a million Credits in cash in the bank. Technically the assets have left the system. Does the bank destroy those notes, or is the money magically doubled and lent out as cash again to another Trader?
The way Bitcoin type currencies work is that a bank might have a million Credits worth of Bit-credits in its electronic "vault", and when the trader arrives they exchange a million Credits in cash for the million credits of Bit-credits. Neither cash Credits nor Bit-credits are created or destroyed.
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:56 am
There are and have always been means of encryption resistant to any 'brute-force' decryption.
Modern mathematical encryption uses mathematics and ludicrously high prime numbers, but old-style 'codebook' ciphers like a one-time pad (at a basic level 'replace a word or phrase with the page, paragraph and word number to locate that word in a book unknown to anyone outside those two parties') do not.

They have their own risks - namely that you have to convey a copy of the codebook to both ends of the transmission without it being intercepted - but if it works, and a mathematical approach does not, the bank will suck it up and hire a merc gunship to make a tour of its branches with the new key file.
Good point about one-time pads. They're both mathematically resistant to all means of decryption other than stealing the code-book and good for adventures related to the security of the code-book.
Ultimately, banking is in the same situation it was in in the 18th/19th century; technological encryption didn't work then (because it hadn't been invented yet), Biometric validation impossible (same problem), instant communication wasn't available, and 'checking up' on a letter of credit between Europe and various colonies could take weeks or months.

Nevertheless, letters of credit between established banking houses were made to work then, and whilst fraud no doubt occurred, the banks which stayed in business (and in some cases are still in business today) were smart enough to keep it within fiscally tolerable levels.
Exactly. Long-distance banking dates back long before fast communications or advanced security. It operated on trust relationships, letters of credit, and the threat that defrauding people powerful enough to operate long-distance banking would have unpleasant consequences to anyone who tried to cross the bankers.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7313
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Condottiere » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:08 pm

Faith based, currencies need widespread believe in their solvency and value, even virtual.
PsiTraveller
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 866
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:47 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby PsiTraveller » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:20 pm

The Virtual Mining and the introduction of Bitcoin into the computers of ships offers an opportunity to convert money to virtual currency and transport it in the ship under special encryption keys available at the next Starport.

This frees up money to move around the Imperium and points further away and increase trade. If ships can pop into a system and download the weeks worth of computing cash for credits, they can buy virtual coin and bring it with them.

Seeing as a TL13 computer could generate almost 4000 credits a month with ease, and the number of ships in a Sector, there will be a lot of virtual coin bustling about. This is good enough for me to revamp my banking system. I can rationalize the electronic transfer of cash easier and use courier networks to make mortgage payments.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7313
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby Condottiere » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:36 pm

Currencies work if you have to or can use them to pay off liabilities such as taxes, or purchase essential commodities, like petrodollars.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3786
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Large amounts of cash on ships

Postby alex_greene » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:53 pm

The only time ships need to be carrying large amounts of cash on them is just after one of their jobs. The crew needs to get their cash value goods stowed away in a bank in a Class A or B Starport as quickly as possible, and their credstiks updated with the new value.

Their credstiks would then keep a list of their liquid assets - which bank, on which world, their liquid assets are stored, what form those assets take (bitcoin, gold or other metal bullion gemstones, pharmaceuticals), and how much they are worth.

Credit transactions would involve the physically closest deposit first, and priority given to transactions within the same branch; secondary priority would be for transfers between banks on the same world; the next priority would be for transactions involving credits drawn from deposits in branches of banks outside the current system.

Say, you're on Tureded in Lanth, and you've got deposits of Cr 300,000 in the Royal Imperial (gold bullion) and Cr, 500,000 in the Bank of Arbellatra (refined zuchai crystals), both on Lanth. You also have a deposit of 1MCr in the Royal Imperial (lutetium bullion and praseodymium bullion) in the Royal Imperial branch on Regina, Regina Subsector.

If your Patron banks in the Royal Imperial on Lanth, and gives you Cr 250,000 in the form of electrum bullion coins, the bank would transfer ownership of the deposit of the coins to your account. Your credstik would be updated immediately, the deposits would not physically need relocation and everybody is happy.

Now say you need to spend Cr 100,000 to someone who has an account in the Bank of Arbellatra. Part of your deposit of zuchai crystals would be liquidated and transferred physically into the vendor's deposit. Credstiks would be updated accordingly.

Now suppose you have to accept a transaction of creds from the private Bank of LSP on Lanth, and you do not hold an account there. Physically, goods would have to be liquidated and physically transported securely to your Lanth bank account - you choose which one, Bank of Arbellatra or Royal Imperial - and credstiks would be updated as soon as the transaction is completed and the new deposit registered in both banks as having been transferred.

Lastly, if you had to withdraw 1MCr all in one go, for instance to put a deposit down as downpayment on a Starship, you would have to send to the Royal Imperial on Regina to transfer your deposit to the authorities there. The Royal Imperial would send the secured message to make the arrangements to liquidate your rare metal bullion deposits on Regina in full and transfer the amount to the ship owner's bank branch on Regina. And you would have to wait for weeks, possibly a few months, for the message to complete its journey to Regina, for the transaction to be completed, and for the documentation to make its way back to Tureded, in order for the stamp of approval to be given to your transaction.

But whether it takes a few hours, or a couple of months, your credstiks would be updated, and you would not need to carry a penny more than the petty cash in credit notes that your ship's Purser holds in the Ship's Locker to buy luxuries for the passengers.

So generally, it pays to deposit cash in as many different branches of banks on as many systems as you can, particularly on the worlds you travel to on a regular basis. And that's the only real way to have lots of credits to hand, as a Traveller.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 13 guests