1. Currencies - gold standard - fiat currencies.
In relation to currencies, Hard money meant that the currency was based on a fixed amount of a valuable physical asset, for example gold or silver.
Gold was the most commonly referenced asset latterly, known as the Gold standard.
Most countries abandoned the gold standard for their currencies during the 20th century.
Fiat currencies are the - almost universal - alternative to hard money.
2. Funding - reliability or directness.
Sources of funding that are either:
- Considered more reliable;
- More strongly linked with a particular purpose; or
3. Lending and borrowing - collateral.
Hard money loans are ones secured against a physical asset, often a residential property.