When I was a kid in school we were watching the movie Marco Polo and in it is a scene where his uncles come back to Europe and show the nobles the Chinese paper money. Trying to persuade them that it would be better to store the gold and use paper money to represent the value. One of the members of the court lights it on fire and says “poof, no value” as it burns away. The uncle then replies, “Congratulations you just burned xxx amount of gold.” But did he really just burn gold? We use paper money now. We exchange it for goods and services. No one every questions the real paper money to gold value anymore. Is it one for one? Am I free to take my paper money to the bank and trade it for real gold? Probably not. This infographic answers these questions and more.