The economy of MonoTown is a highly developed free-market economy. Ranked by the World Economic Forum as the most open in the world, and MonoTown boasts an outsized economic impact far beyond most cities of its size. Despite being a small city-state with severely limited land and resources, it is the richest and most successful of the so-called “Searise Sharks” – cities and countries who benefited economically from “The Searise” – the global cataclysmic change wrought by rising sea levels and environmental change.
Ranked in the Top Five in the UN Human Development Index, MonoTown also features the highest per capita GDP in the world ranked interns of purchasing power parity. The city-state has maintained a AAA sovereign credit rating from all major ratings agencies and is an influential member of the UN, World Trade Organization, Non-Aligned Movement, and is the newest member of the G5.
Despite its stratospheric wealth, booming economy, and a track record of growth spanning a number of decades, MonoTown lags behind in the Gini Coefficient, and is within the bottom quartile for income and wealth inequality globally. The combination of high wealth, extreme poverty, lack of a progressive system of taxation, a substantial refugee population, and extremely high population density have all contributed to MonoTown’s high crime rate (when measured against pre-Searise levels) although it is considered a safer-than-average metropolis. Despite the high crime rate, government corruption is low.
The Port of MonoTown is the busiest port in the world by cargo tonnage, and is a key transshipment terminal for a significant portion of cargo to the continent, where intermodal cargo is transferred from ships to rail to continue the journey inland. Recently expanded to accommodate the largest ships in the world, the port is famous for its iconic SkyDock terminal, part of the port’s maritime-rail transshipment infrastructure.
A global financial center, the city is is home to the MonoTown Exchange (MTX) capital market, which operates a number of markets dedicated to securities (MTX ST), derivatives (MTX DT), currencies (MTX C), and a financial clearinghouse. The MonoTown sovereign wealth fund (sovereignOne) is the largest known fund in the world, and has contributed heavily towards the economic growth of the city while also diversifying its holdings across the globe.
MonoTown is considered a Tax Haven and is on a number of global tax authority watch lists. MonoTown citizens do not pay substantial income tax – they are taxed a small percentage of earnings for healthcare and social security, and there is a mandatory 10% of salary savings rate for all citizens. These savings are contributed towards the sovereignOne, the MonoTown sovereign wealth fund, but citizens are allowed to trade up to 0.5% of their savings on the open markets.
Corporations are taxed at a relatively low rate, and there are numerous free trade zones dedicated to specific industry sectors. Goods and services that enter the city are taxed with a 10% Value Added Tax, while goods and services in transit are not subject to duty, thus securing MonoTown as one of the prime continental entry points in the world.
Critics allege that substantial financial inflows, a highly active and speculative financial markets, relaxed tax regime, and the city’s economic prowess all serve to artificially inflate the city’s headline economic numbers, particularly in terms of per-capita GDP.
The New MonoTown Pound (symbol: £; code: NMT; also abbreviated as £M; referred to as the MT Pound, or MonoTown Pound, or in slang terms as “Empties” or “M-Tees”) is the official currency of MonoTown. It is divided into 100 pence. MonoTown Pounds can be used during live streams on Twitch to unlock special rewards.
Today, the New MonoTown Pound is one of the heaviest traded currencies in the world. The MonoTown Mint issues banknotes and coins. The MonoTown Central Bank maintains liquidity with a basket of cryptocurrencies that are also used extensively within MonoTown and the surrounding region. This controversial fiat / crypto interchange is a topic of intense debate, as it is often suggested that by maintaining these financial onramps into crypto, MonoTown is encouraging tax avoidance, corruption, criminal activity, and money laundering.
Liquidity between NMT and CryptoCurrencies is officially maintained for:
- Ocean Dollar
- Inter Stellar Kredits (ISK)
The History of Currency in MonoTown
The New MonoTown Pound replaced its precursor, the MonoTown Pound, shortly after MonoTown began construction of its iconic Seawall. Heavily criticized by financiers and economists alike, the seawall was considered to be too expensive, too ambitious, and an ultimately futile attempt by the city to save itself. The heavy expenditure required to construct the Seawall was mixed with heavy skepticism about the likelihood of a climate change induced sea level rise, and together these factors contributed to the MonoTown’s PreWall Financial Crisis. The MonoTown Pound collapsed under heavy attack by speculators and creditors alike, and sustained period of recession began until it became clear that MonoTown would be the only coastal city to survive the inevitable environmental crisis.
After the currency collapse, MonoTowners and most businesses used the US Dollar for most financial transactions. Eventually The MonoTown Mint issued a short lived MonoTown Dollar that was pegged against the US Dollar at an exchange rate of 5MTD to 1USD. This peg held for a number of years, until the effects of climate change began to wreak havoc on the United States economy. As the rest of the world entered a climate change induced recessions, this threatened to arrest the finally-recovering MonoTown economy. Unaffected by the climate crisis due to forward planning, it became clear that MonoTown would be one of the only surviving coastal cities with clear shipping lanes, transit links to the continent, and operating port facilities. Thus, the New MonoTown Pound was born.