The currency for the floating kingdom will be the New Atlantis Dollar NA$, and this will be divided into 100 cents, although used as multiples of 5c. Its value will mirror the USA dollar.
Converting currency within the kingdom will be a one for one swap with no fee for US$, buying or selling. Other currencies will be handled by banks on a spread basis in the same way as if you were converting any currency to or from US$, on approximately equal fees.
All cash transactions within the kingdom will be done in NA$. Credit cards can be charged in US dollars or NA$, as they are identical in value. Checks used within the kingdom by residents will be in NA$, and residents will be able to hold accounts in NA$, US$ and any other currencies of their choice.
We envisage the currency having a plastic look and feel, being a little like the Australian currency, but ridged in places, very colorful and designed so that it is difficult to forge, and strong so it can be used for some time before becoming tatty. Currency Notes values in NA$ will be 500, 100, 50, 25, 10. We are still considering the option for one or more higher value notes, and need to look at forgery prevention technology. The ridging will make it particularly difficult for home forging even as technology and computer printers improve.
Coins will have a style of their own and be small, light and shaped with no sharp edges. Denominations will be NA$5, NA$1, 50c 25c 10c 5c. As there is no coin less than 5c, all prices have to be multiples of 5c when paid in cash. In practice this means that restaurants and shops will price everything this way. Consideration is being given to the idea that the smallest coin should be 10c.
One suggestion is that all coins should have a hole in to make easy to pass from one person onto a blunt receiving hook to make handling easy, and avoid coins being dropped by those less familiar with floating craft. A design similar to lace with connector would also allow a collection of coins to be carried and values extracted, with fewer coins lost while held loose in pockets. Having a hole also reduces the weight for people to carry. The two higher value coins would be made from two metals to make it more difficult to forge.
Generally within the American continents, the move is towards dollarization, moving to using either the USA dollar or having a currency as in Bermuda that mirrors it. In Europe the move is towards a common euro currency. Being half way between we needed to choose which of these two we wanted to have our currency connected to. We have chosen the dollar as it is longer established and future is predicted to be more stable.
In recent years some countries have been dropping their own currency completely and using USA dollars, and the USA treasury encourage this providing they are informed in advance so as to make sure sufficient currency is available.
We have chosen not at the moment to follow this as we see a security advantage of having our own currency that will help to make it impractical for external criminals to carry out crimes on trips to the kingdom.
We propose to stamp, as many other countries do, all passports as they arrive, but that the stamp will include an automatically incremented number. When currency is changed to NA$, the number and amount will be entered into a computer system.
When converting back currency when they come to leave the kingdom, the number will again be entered and anyone who converts back more than they have had converted when they arrived and since will need to account for the increase. Large value sales by island shops for cash will also have the passport stamp number and amount recorded.
The concept is simple, stolen NA$, cannot be changed back into other currencies, or spent on high value items, making it unattractive for criminals, who may be attracted by our concept of no police or prisons. The practice will be slightly more complex as pass over from one visit to another has to be allowed and arrangements made to account for currency exchanges within casinos. Sales of items brought in can be documented and will be able to be used as an explanation. Where no acceptable explanation is available the currency will be held until it can be cleared up.
This does mean that changing of currency into NA$ will only be available from within the kingdom. Visitors will be able to convert any currency in licensed outlets, and arrangements will be widely available to change US$ travelers checks.
A state that prints its own currency makes a profit on the operation known as seigniorage as the cost of printing is less than the face value, so as the amount of currency increases an income is produced, however this is small in relation to the income of a state. Some currency is lost or kept as souvenirs, so is in effect sold.
As with most other aspects of the running of the state the currency operation will be subcontracted to a licensed company or consortium, who will handle to provision of currency, exchange of old notes and exchange operations. The state will specify, regularly after discussions with the bank, the amount of extra currency that is produced and will receive an agreed percentage of its face value. The percentage kept on new money printed or coins produced will cover the banks costs of printing or manufacture, control and a budget to cover the zero charge conversion to and from US$.
Coins or notes that will form a product, for example souvenir set, or jewelry will be available at a discounted rate providing that the product cannot be separated to make the currency able to be used, and where possible one side of any notes used will be either blank or marked cancelled. Proof sets to a higher quality for collectors can be produced by the bank for sale at a premium, and the same percentage of face value paid to the state.
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