International markets in the extreme late 20th century adapted at a spectacular pace to the arrival of Tiberium. Within several years of its arrival, trade in Tiberium-derived materials became practically equivilant to the international stock market in terms of sheer importance, and soon eclipsed the stock market as the primary form of international trade. This latter development was a direct result of the First Tiberium War, which resulted in the value of raw warmaking materials exceeding the trade in stock shares in international corporations in terms of importance.
As national governments suffered a cataclysmic breakdown in the early 21st century, international trade also suffered as monetary systems failed. With most of the political, social, and economic power on the globe falling into the hands of military organizations such as GDI, Nod, and various smaller warlords and militias, Tiberium's importance as a trade medium grew even more dramatically. Over the course of several years prior to the Second Tiberium War, a rough form of global currency, dubbed the "Tiberium mark" or "tib-mark" for short, was gradually implemented, replacing the American dollar. Tiberium was judged to be a relatively stable material to base currency on, as its value remained almost constant, even while evolving. This resulted in control of Tiberium deposits post-TW2 being not only a valuable strategic goal as a source of raw materials and energy, but also as an economic goal.
Global Defense Initiative analysts believe that the rapid growth in the Tiberium market was partially due to efforts by agents of the Brotherhood of Nod to build the economies of poor nations to exploit Tiberium. However, government officials firmly deny theories - mainly espoused by Nod sympathizers and analysts in Nod-controlled territory - that Kane had taken steps to prepare the nations that would fund and support Nod in the expectation of the arrival of Tiberium.
— Tiberium-based Economics in the Mid-21st Century
, Tiberium Wars
Life is merely an orderly decay of energy states, and survival requires the continual discovery of new energy to pump into the system. He who controls the sources of energy controls the means of survival.