Between automation and lifestyle changes, the general populace of the Cosmic Era's First World no longer has to engage in employment to secure their survival. Many turn to the virtual world of the CogNet to make a better life for themselves.
Title says it all
The basic economy of the Atlantic Federation
One of the current political paradigms of the Cosmic Era.
Captain Blackthorn grimaced against the salt air that sandblasted his face. His men were weary, his ship was falling apart and the hold was replete with treasures beyond counting. It was time to head home and enjoy the bounty that years at sea had brought them. As he braced himself against the pressing squall he considered the conundrum of converting said bounty into a transferable asset that could easily be spent without arousing suspicion of the local militia or the jealousy of rival pirates. If only large amounts of wealth could be represented on something as light and unobtrusive as a piece of paper. But then Blackthorn had a idea:
"I know what we'll do! We'll bury it!…"
Following the conclusion of the Human Genome Project, and the 2nd Human Genome project, it was just a matter of time and funding before human cloning not only became possible, but a profitable
Because, after a while, even the oldest adventurer will need a place to settle as he grows tired.
Be it salt, wheat, silk or gold, money is money lad.
Golden tablets with the seal of the ruler that issued the pass and the seal and name of who it was issued to. About the size of your palm of solid intricately etched gold. The holder of the tablet is backed by the authority of the king to make any required purchases on credit or enter any place they deem necessary. A very powerful token indeed.
Mining in a certain area turns all exposed skin (maybe just parts that are actively disturbing the chemicals that cause the reaction) of the those doing the mining to a dark blue color. Will wear off taking as many years/days spent in the mine. ... meeting a party of blue-skinned humans armed with pick-axes etc. Strange disease? Demon offspring? Curse? If they meet only one ex-worker, they will very carefully listen to any stories he says, no matter if drunken or insane, or just makes up to get a beer.