"Soapy" Jefferson Smith got his nick-name from his soap scam-a name the public called him, but probably never used to his face. He would gather a large audience and pretend to wrap bills around some of the bars. Then he would auction off the bars, claiming that there could be anywhere from $1-$100 in the a bars. He would have members of his gang mixed into the audience and they would "win" big. The audience would get very excited and the bidding would go higher.
Gold was also an excepted currency back then because many of the miners would come straight from the creeks to the saloons and that's all they had. For my story, gold is the only accepted currency to put more value and greed to it. This is Swiftwater's (Beaver) first human experience and he realizes that their greed for gold can work in his favor.