It could be inferred from this page that Gyrode's share of the take from Steel Nation was all funny money. Not so! It's just that since that tournament Ralph has been keen to keep what money he's amassed (world domination is expensive, you know).
I like to think that those Smiffollars are hand-drawn. The fine print on the ten Smiffollar note reads "You're all my obedient slaves now so enjoy these petty material values while you still can, signed your benevolent Emperor and Overlord Dr. Ralph Smiffington III".