The Complete Economy

by Pierre Gancel

Promoting a digital Community Currency (CC) platform can boost local trade for the 700m Africans to be connected by 2020. This figure is based on the GSMA estimated 54% penetration rate of unique internet subscribers combined with Wolfram 1,29 billion population estimation in Africa the same year.

This post demonstrates that CC can improve standards of living through the case of Bengla-Pesa in Kenya, then suggests two ways to adapt CC with the constraints of mobile to scale up. It suggests modernizing front-office by integrating with messaging platforms, then demonstrates how using a Blockchain-based database can enhance back-office security.

Bangla-Pesa is a CC used by 200 small businesses since May 2013 in Mombasa to trade goods and services. Based on a ‘mutual credit’ model similar to the Wir Franc, this system provides local business with a means to exchange their excess capacity. Allotment of vouchers is based on a survey to assess the productive capacity of a participant, backed by four other members in case of default. One week after launching the currency, 83% of respondents reported sales increases with 22% of daily trades done with Bangla-Pesa. For 89% of the network, Bangla-Pesa exchanges did not replace trades in Kenyan shillings but represented separate additional transactions. The presence of Bangla-Pesa in the community may also reduce volatility as people have access to a means of exchange even in times of market instability. Indeed sales can range from 3-15 euros per day! Two more programs have been launched since then in Kenya. Estimates are that each CC increases local trade by USD100,000 each year fueling growth that does not rely on large donors, banks or governments.

There are thousands of CC worldwide, most now use software rather than physical bookkeeping. Free open solutions provided by groups such as Community Forge are aiding their uptake. Yet they are burdened with complex user experience and outdated design. To provide a viable alternative to cash, users need a seamless experience when exchanging CC via mobile. The best interface being no interface, such platforms should almost be invisible. Sending value through a messaging platforms is increasingly popular. In November 2015, WeChat reached 200M users on its payments service, while two weeks ago Facebook Messenger started accepting native payments without sending users to an external website. There is as a result a huge opportunity to plug CC front-end into a conversational BOT to boost user engagement.

According to Richard Logie, 90% of digital CC systems fail to scale due to lack of transparency and governance risk in the process of allocating vouchers. Using Blockain-based solutions would prevent such flaws. Indeed private Blockchains produce a transparent record of account balances that does not rely on a central authority. These programmable trust-less ledgers create an independently verifiable record of user identities and transactions thus solving the accountability issue. Bryan Young designed an innovative CC use case through SlackCoin. Combining Slack messaging platform and Monax open-source Blockchain i.e. eris:db.

Since usage determines the core leverage of today’s economy, developing active digital CC networks is bound to yield great value. Backing up the promises of these disruptive tools Colu raised $9.6m in June 2016 to promote their Blockchain-based solutions for creating local currencies.

Vol. 20 (Summer) pp. 41-53

The “commodity – money – commodity” Mutual Credit Complementary Currency System. Marxian money to promote community trade and market economy

Samo Kavčič

Šercerjeva ul.26, 4240 Radovljica, Slovenia. E-mail:


The Mutual Credit Currency System, this most radical form of endogenous money, was evaluated and compared with Marx’s Commodity-Money-Commodity requirement.  A simple simulation of a small community closed loop economy was used to illustrate the functioning of two types of mutual credit currency systems. The first, dubbed MCSG, behaved according to the specifications and recommendations of the mutual credit currency system’s founding fathers, Riegel and Greco. The second, dubbed the Komoko Monetary System, or abbreviated to KMS, was a sub-type of the mutual credit currency system with some additional restrictions and one additional liberty. The main restriction introduced in the KMS was that it almost exclusively supported the exchange of only newly produced goods and services. The liberty introduced is forecast-based credit allocation. It was shown that the MCSG has an inconsistency that could potentially lead to instability. The restrictions applied within the KMS can provide a remedy for this potential flaw, while at the same time rendering the KMS compliant with Marx’s requirement. The monetary control measures applicable in KMS were discussed, which guarantee robustness and stability and make KMS a true complement to the official fractional reserve banking.


Mutual credit system , Commodity – money – commodity, Cash flow forecast, Currency circuit,  Monetary control,  Endogenous money

Article kavcic pdf

To cite this article: Kavčič, S. (2016) ‘The “commodity – money – commodity” Mutual Credit Complementary Currency System. Marxian money to promote community trade and market economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 20 (Summer) 41-53 <> ISSN 1325-9547

Vol. 20 (Summer) pp. 24-40

Classifying non-bank currency systems using web data

Ariane Tichit*, Clément Mathonnat*, Diego Landivar**

* Clermont University, Auvergne University, CNRS, UMR 6587, CERDI, F-63009 Clermont Fd. Email: ariane.tichit@udamail.f;; ** ESC Clermont, 63000 Clermont-Fd. Email:


This paper develops a new classification of non-bank currency systems based on a lexical analysis from French-language web data in order to derive an endogenous typology of monetary projects, based on how these currencies are depicted on the internet. The advantage of this method is that it by-passes problematic issues currently found in the literature to uncover a clear classification of non-bank currency systems from exogenous elements. Our textual corpus consists of 320 web pages, corresponding to 1,210 text pages. We first apply a downward hierarchical clustering method to our data, which enables us to endogenously derive five different classes and make distinctions among non-bank currency system and between these and the standard monetary system. Next, we perform a similarity analysis. Our results show that all non-bank currency systems define themselves in relation to the standard monetary system, with the exception of Local Exchange Trading Systems.


non-bank money, text mining, web data, downward hierarchical clustering, similarity analysis

Article Tichit pdf

To cite this article: Tichit, A.; Mathonnat, C.; Landivar, D. (2016) ‘Classifying non-bank currency systems using web data’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 20 (Summer) 24-40 <> ISSN 1325-9547

Vol 20 (Summer) pp. 2-23

Psychological factors influencing the use and development of Complementary Currencies

Carmen Smith, Alan Lewis

University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA27AY, United Kingdom, Email:;


This paper presents a novel socio-psychological analysis of the motivations and experiences of mutual credit members in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Primary data comprised of interviews and participant observation, supplemented with secondary data analysis of organisation documents, and a review of the literature in psychology, sociology and economics. Group members were motivated to secure personal resilience against hardship, and the personal agency that results from this, along with the experiences of community and cultural identity positioning, motivates engagement. Consequently these groups are defined as cultural communities offering personal resilience to members through informal reciprocity. This approach, which prioritises the social aspects of exchange, has implications for the design of complementary currencies, particularly mutual credit initiatives, and demonstrates the value of engaging with the fields of psychology and sociology in developing interdisciplinary understandings of alternative economic practice.


Complementary currency, mutual credit, sustainability, reciprocity, resilience, community

Article Smith pdf

To cite this article: Smith, C; Lewis, A. (2016) ‘Psychological factors influencing the use and development of Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 20 (Summer) 2-23 <> ISSN 1325-9547

2015 Book Reviews

Our round-up of the latest books on community currencies – we add to this section throughout the year.

Sustainable Society: Making Business, Government and Money Work Again by Rudolf Isler (2014). Reviewed by Timothée Parrique

Saving the Market from Capitalism by Massimo Amato and Luca Fantacci (2014). Reviewed by Yasuyuki Hirota

ijccr book reviews 2015

To cite this article: ‘Book Reviews’ (2015) International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Winter) <> ISSN 1325-9547

barter market

2015 Special Issue Introduction: Money and development 

This special issue of the International Journal of Community Currency Research (IJCCR) includes 15 papers that their authors presented in their earlier versions at the 2nd International Conference on Complementary and Community Currency Systems, ‘Multiple moneys and development: making payments in diverse economies’. It was held at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague between 19th and 23rd June, 2013. It was organised as an event of the Civic Innovation Research Initiative in collaboration with the Qoin Foundation (Amsterdam), the think-tank New Economics Foundation (London), and the Palmas Institute (Brazil and Europe). The event was attended by almost 450 participants from 31 countries, including academics, practitioners, consultants, policy makers and representatives of grassroots organisations. This special issue seeks to reflect that diversity and includes articles on Complementary and Community Currency Systems from most corners of the world. Georgina M. Gómez
To cite this article: Gómez, G. (2015) ‘Introduction: Money and Development’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 1-5. <>  ISSN  1325-9547