Nobody works for a living in the Star Trek Federation since the concept of money does not exist. Without money as a medium of exchange, how does the Federation conduct trade with the other worlds? I cannot imagine how the money-minded Ferengis would want to have any dealings with humans if no money is involved.


2 Answers 2


As you can see from this image from TNG: The Price, when the Federation deal with non-Federation state actors, they offer something called "Federation Credits". This would appear to be a monetary unit that (presumably) can be exchanged for goods and services.

The first line of the Federation bid reads:

  • Lump sum payment of 1,000,000 Federation Credits to be paid ... 100,000 Credits to be paid for annual access"

enter image description here

  • I'm interested in what value this would bring, what makes these Federation Credits enticing for non-federation states?
    – Nate D
    Dec 17, 2016 at 15:25
  • @NathanielDSouza - I'm guessing you can choose from a menu of items with prices listed alongside. The most obvious things would be replicated goods (fuel, rare metals, gemstones, volatile elements that don't usually exist in nature), ships/probes, medical supplies, entertainment items, holodeck parts, etc etc.
    – Valorum
    Dec 17, 2016 at 15:32

When trading externally with non-federation entities it's possible that they use valuable minerals, elements, etc, such as Plutonium, Gold, Diamonds, etc.

  • 3
    Gold-pressed latinum
    – Adeptus
    Dec 16, 2016 at 6:35
  • Gold and many other elements can be mined easily from asteroids, moons, and planets. Why sell these to people when they can more easily get their own? We can already make artificial diamonds in the 21st century. Plutonium might be cheap to make by then. I just don't see this trade happening.
    – RichS
    Jan 1, 2017 at 4:09
  • The whole reason "gold-pressed latinum" is even a thing is because gold is now considered worthless, as it can be replicated - latinum is the expensive part, because it can't be replicated (for unspecified reasons). Thus Quark decrying being left with nothing but "worthless gold" in Who Mourns For Morn?
    – fluffy
    Jan 2, 2017 at 2:02
  • @RichS Those are examples from our era, but it's entirely possible there are then-era equivalents mined from cosmic anomalies, etc.
    – Nate D
    Mar 14, 2017 at 17:15

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