GeekGold Exchange Rate
Current Exchange Rate
GeekGold has an intrinsic monetary worth. After ongoing GeekGold inflation, the current rate of exchange is about 50 GG per US$ (2015).
Calculating the Exchange Rate
The value of GeekGold is measurable to some extent, because in the GeekAuctions people buy GeekGold with real money and with real games that have an actual material value. Based on such data from GeekAuctions, it is possible to calculate the rate of exchange between GeekGold and the US dollar, and to track how this has changed over the years.
Exchange Rate from 2005-2015
The real-world value of GeekGold has steadily decreased over time, and this trend is expected to continue as it becomes easier for people to acquire GeekGold and because of the finite possibilities for spending it.
2005: 3GG per US$
2007: 7GG per US$
2008: 10GG per US$
2010: 15GG per US$
2011: 25GG per US$
2012: 30GG per US$
2013: 40GG per US$
2014: 45GG per US$
2015: 50GG per US$
Since 2005, the value of GeekGold has deflated significantly, so that 1US$ is presently considered the approximate equivalent of almost 40GG. Examples are available of what you could purchase with GeekGold from 2005-2007 (see here and here and here). For more historical data about the changing value of GeekGold, see the original content of this wiki article as it appeared in 2006, the excellent article by Simon Hunt from 2007, and the thread by Tom Rosen from 2007. This more recent summary from 2010 traces the declining value of GeekGold over time. Over the year 2013, GeekAuctions for US$10 have typically sold for at least 300GG (in the latter part of the year for 400-500GG), and in 2015 the typical return for a US$10 GeekAuction has been 500GG.
One significant catalyst for this inflation was the 150GG supporter bonus that was distributed to all paying BGG supporters at the end of 2010 in connection with the 2010 end-of-year support drive, as first discussed in this thread started by John Peterson. While the rate of exchange was 15GG per US$ at the end of 2010, by early 2011 it was already typical for amounts of US$10 to sell for 250GG in the GeekAuctions. The influx of GG created by these supporter drives and its effect on the value of GeekGold has continued in subsequent years, with a further 140+ GeekGold supporter bonus distributed at the end of 2011 in connection with the 2011 end-of-year support drive, which witnessed an immediate increase in the GeekGold paid for money auctions. By early 2012, most GeekAuctions for US$10 were selling for 300GG or more, some even as high as 500GG or more, a trend which has continued in later years.
Another contributing factor is the improved technology (e.g. phones, cameras, tablets, videos) available to the average user, making it easier to submit photos and videos in return for GeekGold. Prior to 2005, most users did not own such technology, meaning that the only way to earn GG was by writing articles, making it much harder to accumulate GeekGold.
With GeekGold steadily being introduced into the economy, there have been many discussions about the need for further ways to spend GeekGold, and to create "GeekGold sinks" that reduce the impact of this devaluation of GeekGold. See for example this thread (December 2010) and this thread (January 2013). With an steadily increasing user-base earning GeekGold, and with long time users often accumulating large amounts of GeekGold over time, more and more GeekGold is being injected into the economy without new ways to spend it, so invariably its value gets diluted.
Games for GeekGold (G4GG)
The GeekGold for Game lotteries have been running since October 2009, and use a bid-based lottery system which participants enter by paying GeekGold. Sometimes gift certificates with a cash value are offered, but since participating in these lotteries offers no guaranteed return, they give no reliable indication of the value of GeekGold. However, in one instance an auctioneer earned 2612 GG for a USD$50 gift certificate, which is a return of over 50GG per US$.