On this planet, there exists a constellation.
A constellation that protects you…
safeguards your home… and feeds your family.
It is known as the Eurion Constellation.
You can see this constellation almost everywhere
on Earth, regardless of the time of year,
or whether it is day or night.
But you won’t find this constellation on
any star chart or in any astrologer’s book.
Because this constellation has nothing to
do with the cosmos.
I just really wanted to use that stock footage
of stars and do a cool voiceover for the intro…
The Eurion Constellation is a real thing and
I’ll get back to it in a moment, but this
video is about currency.
So what is currency?
First and foremost, it’s a unit of exchange.
That means you use it to get other stuff.
Otherwise you’d be using chickens and I
So unlike chickens and… wood, you can put
a lot of it in your pockets or wallet or bra
or whatever… and it’s durable so it’s
unlikely to get damaged and lose value while
in your pockets or wallet or bra.
It also has to be divisible so that you can
pay exactly what is owed without rounding
up and overpaying.
First of probably many side notes… in order
to be divisible, they come in different denominations,
the same word that used for churches and while
people do worship the stuff that’s pretty
much where the similarities end.
In both the Euro and the Dollar there are
seven paper notes.
The Euro calls them banknotes and they are
the 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500.
The Dollar calls them federal reserve notes
and there is the 1, 2 – that’s right,
the 2, it’s not some special collector’s
item like your grandma thinks, they make new
ones all the time – 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100.
That’s it, there’s nothing higher than
We used to have a 100,000 dollar bill that
was discontinued in 1934.
It was only ever used to transfer money between
banks, because back in the day the only way
to move large amounts of money between banks
was to put it in a safe on the back of a horse
and… good luck!
When it comes to coins, the Euro has eight.
The 2 euro, 1 euro, 50 cent, 20 cent, 10 cent,
5 cent, 2 cent and 1 cent.
Many countries either have or will soon phase
out their 1 and 2 cent pieces because… well
I’ll get to that in a second.
The dollar has the dollar coin, half dollar,
quarter, dime, nickel, and penny – the bane
of many a youtuber.
The American penny is made of copper covered
zinc, and if you melted it down and sold the
metals, you would make 1.5 cents.
The Euro 1, 2, and 5 cents are all made of
copper covered steel and depending on the
country costs around 5.5 cents to make, which
is why many countries have or are trying to
ditch the 1 and 2 and just keep the 5 cent.
The American nickel isn’t doing too well
either, and costs 6.3 cents to make.
So when it comes to the lower denominations
for almost all currencies, they cost more
to make than they have in value.
Which brings us to the last definition of
currency, and one which will make many economists
angry at me for saying, it is a store of value.
The reason that will make economists angry
is that they will say money is a store of
value, and currency is just a representation
I’ll get to why I personally disagree with
that distinction later, but back in the day,
our money, if it wasn’t just flat out made
of gold or silver, at least had a real value
of gold or silver attached to it.
In the United States we started off on the
Silver Standard, a dollar being defined as
24.056g of Silver.
In 1900, we switched to the Gold Standard,
redefining the dollar as 1.505g of gold.
You could walk into a bank and get that equal
value in gold in exchange it even said so
on the dollar.
But that really kind of holds the currency
back, you aren’t going to have many more
dollars in circulation unless you invade somewhere
and come across a bunch of new gold.
So combined with the fact that many European
countries had already done so, in 1971 the
United States likewise abandoned the Gold
Standard and let the dollar become free-floating
Fiat Currency, which just means that its value
is backed by the government which issued it
and nothing else.
So how much is a dollar worth?
It’s not worth anything, it’s worth a
It’s worth slightly more than a bag of skittles
or like a third of a gallon of gas.
It’s not pegged to anything like gold or
silver, but you can still go buy gold and
silver with your money or currency which…
don’t… but again I’ll get to why I think
But since its value is backed by the government
it is also protected by the government.
In order to protect that value, you have to
protect it against counterfeit.
Now I’m not going to go through every anti
counterfeiting measure like the little strip
or the watermark or whatever, because everyone
knows about those and they’re boring.
You don’t come here because you wanna be
told old stuff, you wanna know new stuff.
So let’s talk about some that you probably
Here’s a favorite among lots of people who
like to ruin movies.
What’s wrong with this scene?
Absolutely nothing is wrong with this scene
I don’t know where this rumor came about
money burns some different color, but it doesn’t.
Defacing or destroying US currency is illegal,
and since I’d rather get in trouble for
copyright than for burning money, here’s
someone else’s video where they burn money.
It burns the normal fire color.
There’s nothing special about it, it’s
made of cotton and linen, it actually isn’t
But it’s again illegal for people to counterfeit
money, even in the movies.
So whenever you see money in a movie, it’s
real, it has to be, by law.
I mean, they’re not going to burn money
but whenever you see it in a briefcase or
whatever, that’s real money, at least the
top layer anyway.
That blew my mind when I found that out.
But here’s another one, in my intro you
saw me put a dollar bill in my scanner.
You shouldn’t do that, or any of the other
things in my intros, but on top of that, you
CAN’T do it.
Your scanner or copy machine simply won’t
Because of the Eurion Constellation.
It was introduced in 1996 and it’s on almost
every paper currency around the world.
Where is it on the 20?
Oh, it’s all of the zeros from those random
Here it is on the pound, and the euro… and
you probably never even noticed it.
The moment your scanner or copier detects
that constellation, it will stop.
That’s a legally required to be hardwired
into the machine, you simply can’t do it.
How cool is that?!
So now let’s talk about how different currencies
I know you just rolled your eyes, I promise
it’s not as difficult as you think or as
complicated as certain people want you to
To start off, let’s use a made up currency,
let’s call it the Ferret.
And you want to go on vacation to some lame
developing country, once you get there, you
have to convert your money into the local
currency, the Turtle.
Right now, one Ferret is worth…
It’s like pesos okay, it’s a really low
But, now that you have brought more value
into the country, each individual turtle is
So the next person who wants to come visit
will trade their one Ferret for 357 Turtles.
Then someone from here goes back and it costs
355 Turtles for 1 Ferret, which devalues the
Turtle *against the* Ferret.
So for the next person it takes 356 et cetera
But this is what those financial experts on
the news mean when they say the dollar lost
value against the euro today.
They mean that value has transferred between
two currencies, making one more valuable or
“stronger” than the other.
Which is why it’s possible to lose value
against one currency, but still gain value
But what do they mean when they say that China
is a currency manipulator?
Well now let’s take a look at the real world.
As you should know, the United States has
a trade deficit with China, which means that
we send money to China in exchange for goods,
but get very little back.
So we are introducing more value into China.
Remember what happened when we exchanged a
Ferret for a Turtle?
The value of the Turtle went up against the
So the value of the…
Yuan should go up with each transaction.
But… it doesn’t.
China keeps the value of their currency artificially
low to encourage more trade with China.
I don’t know what it is about the way he
says it, but that’s just funny.
Actually I’m not sorry, I don’t take any
of that back.
Anyway, this could all be avoided if we just
had some sort of universal currency, right?
There’d be no more exchange rates or confusion,
it would just be simple.
There’s actually no catch here I kinda do
Prime example is the Euro.
The Euro is the universal currency of an entire
When I was a kid there were francs, deutschmarks…
francs again… kroners?
There were a lot of currencies is what I’m
But they all standardized and converted to
the Euro in 2002.
That is the best practical example of a universal
currency today, and by 2023 the African continent
is set to adopt their own universal currency
called the Afro.
I really, really wish I was making that up,
I mean what a horrible name… what’s next,
I was… kind of kidding.
But that one’s pretty unlikely because people
love themselves some dollars.
Many currencies around the world, instead
of pegging their value to gold or silver,
peg it to the dollar or the euro, or other
top shelf currencies, because they are relatively
But what about those electronic universal
currencies, like bitcoin?
How does that work?
Just like every other currency.
Every time you buy bitcoins, you are increasing
the value of all bitcoins.
When bitcoin first started in 2009, it was
In March 2010, someone tried to sell 10,000
BTC for $50, and nobody bought it.
A month later, 1 BTC was valued at 0.003 dollars.
That’s a third of a penny.
Each bitcoin is worth $2,669.
Which means if you could go back in time and
buy that guy’s 10,000 for 50 bucks, you’d
now be sitting on well over 26 million.
The only real difference between bitcoin and
other currencies is that it exists digitally
rather than physically.
It’s worth noting that the vast majority
of “real” currencies like dollars and
euros also only exist digitally but that’s
a different story for a different time.
You can’t go into a bank and get bitcoin
It only exists in the ether.
So how does it work?
First, you need what they call a wallet, again,
it’s electronic… basically a fancy online
Then, you have to buy bitcoin from someone.
You are exchanging your dollars for bitcoins,
just like you would any other currency.
So now, they can go take your dollars and
spend them wherever, whereas you can really
only use your bitcoins at shady online stores
and dark web services, at least for now.
Every time there is a bitcoin transaction,
you are announcing to the secure bitcoin network
all of the information regarding that trade.
Which is then kept on several decentralized
ledgers, which are then combined to make the
I know that sounds complicated, but it’s
really not though.
There’s no central authority like a government
or a bank, the people who keep these ledgers
or “blockchains” are just other bitcoin
users, known as miners.
Every time a user’s ledger is added to the
main ledger, that user is rewarded with 12.5
So… a lot of money.
Which is why people volunteer their computing
power to try and mine bitcoins.
I wouldn’t bother though, because of computing
power required to work the cryptography is
more than most of us can afford.
The cryptography is hella complicated, and
while I did take a few classes in crypto because
I thought that’s what I wanted to do in
the army I…
*I don’t have time to explain why*.
Anyway, every time several hundred thousand
ledgers are added, the reward gets cut in
half, it started at 50 bitcoins and the last
whole bitcoin reward will likely be mined
in the year 2140, and there is a fixed amount
of bitcoins in existence, unlike other currencies.
But just like other fiat currencies, bitcoin
only has value because people think it has
If people didn’t want to accept bitcoins
as payment and people didn’t want to exchange
their other currency for bitcoins, they would
essentially become worthless.
Or, since there are no physical bitcoins,
if there happened to be a solar flare that
wiped out all electronics… or the zombie
apocalypse were to occur.
In that case though, dollars and euros would
probably become pretty worthless too.
So what would the currency be if society collapsed?
Many people might say gold and silver.
Because unlike all those fake fiat currencies,
gold and silver is real money with intrinsic
Is it though?
And does it?
Aside from some very recent electronic and
space flight applications, gold and silver
is pretty intrinsically worthless.
For well over 99% of human history, gold and
silver was only valuable for jewelry because
it was shiny.
It’s only valuable because it’s nice to
look at and so people think it’s valuable.
Just like any other currency really.
But that won’t stop people from fear mongering
you into thinking the dollar will collapse
at any moment and they you should invest in
gold and silver… by buying it from them.
But they won’t actually send you the gold
or silver because that would be crazy expensive
and insurance blah blah, no, instead, they’ll
send you a certificate saying that they are
holding onto some gold in your name.
Definitely nothing shady about that, I’m
sure that gold will come in real handy when
the bombs fall.
Just like bottlecaps.
Oh g… okay, we probably all saw this coming
so… go on.
You know my main problem with bottlecaps?
Bottlecaps aren’t rare enough to be a currency
and they’re way too easy to counterfeit.
One of the missions in New Vegas is to shut
down a bottling facility that’s being used
to counterfeit bottle caps, but is it really
counterfeiting if they’re also real bottlecaps?
Not only that but bottlecaps way 2.2 grams
apiece, there are some items in the game that
cost 20,000 caps, you know how much that weighs?
I do because I did the math.
Oh yeah sure, could you just head on down
to the grocery store for me?
Off you pop!
Not only that but old school pre-war money
still exists in the game, and it still has
Why use bottlecaps?!
K I’m done.
Okay so really though, what would the currency
be if everything fell apart?
If we’re being honest about it, bullets,
food, and knowledge.
*knowledge* Take a look at the Walking Dead…
or don’t because it’s getting kind of
old… and I’m just gonna tell you about
They don’t use money.
They trade in actual goods and services, smart
people are valued, guns and bullets, food…
the ability to work is the main currency really.
When you really boil it down, the Walking
Dead is pure communism.
Everyone just keeps working in order to benefit
themselves and the group as a whole.
And whenever someone acts selfishly and tries
to be a capitalist, they’re usually killed
off in some horrifying way, sometimes realizing
the err of their ways in their final moments.
So the next time someone tries to tell you
to invest in some precious metal because the
dollar is going to collapse at any moment,
or they tell you that international trade
or the value of currency is some great mathematical
mystery, at least now, you know better.
So what do you think the currency in post-apocalyptia
Let me know down in the comments.
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