I don't necessarily agree. We'd have to have some form of currency to exchange. Do you actually think everyone would immediately set their money on fire? I wouldn't. "Backed by the Federal government" has little meaning when there's no alternative. Our paper currency is largely faith-based already. In the grand scheme of things, folks with real gold/silver on hand will be a minute percentage (and possibly in great peril because of it). But even the average Joe has some idea of what a US dollar can buy. Sheesh, some of the earliest currencies on record were stones and seashells (backed by nothing whatsoever). Just my two cents. EDIT: Btw, paper money has a built-in intrinsic value because of the effort required to obtain it.