Presidential candidate and Libertarian leader Ron Paul claims that Americans are held hostage to the unsound currency manipulations of the United States Federal Reserve. Essentially, Ron Paul is about as big an inflation hawk as you will find. He doesn't care for fiat money and believes that in the very least Americans should be able to choose the currency that they use. To this end he has proposed that Americans be allowed to use competing currencies. An American corporation, NORFED, has taken up the charge and is issuing notes backed by gold and silver and coins. This "currency" is more popularly known as the "LIberty Dollar." The problem is, this is apparently illegal. In November of 2007, federal agents raided NORFED and confiscated 2 tons of copper coins and 500 pounds of silver coins. According to the United States Mint:
Under 18 U.S.C. § 486, it is a Federal crime to pass, or attempt to pass, any coins of gold or silver intended for use as current money except as authorized by law. According to the NORFED website, "Liberty merchants" are encouraged to accept NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions and offer them as change in sales transactions of merchandise or services.
NORFED tells "Liberty associates" that they can earn money by obtaining NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions at a discount and then can "spend [them] into circulation."
NORFED’s "Liberty Dollar" medallions are specifically marketed to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with the circulating coinage of the United States. Consequently, prosecutors with the United States Department of Justice have concluded that the use of NORFED’s "Liberty Dollar" medallions violates 18 U.S.C. § 486, and is a crime.