The Diversity and Evolutionary Process of Modern Community Currencies in Japan

Yoshihisa Miyazaki* and Ken-ichi Kurita**

* National Institute of Technology, Sendai College, Miyagi, Japan, Email:

** Kokusai Junior College, Tokyo, Japan. Email:

(Authors with equal contribution)

This paper focuses on the diverse development of modern community currencies (CCs) in Japan, and provides a classification of them by type. Modern CCs appeared in the early 1970s and since then various types have circulated globally. With the increase in CC practices, academic research into CCs has emerged as a growing area of interest. However, since CC systems are diverse, it is difficult to obtain a commonly recognized definition of CCs, or criteria for their classification according to their characteristics. Since this problem is shared even by international researchers, it has become an important issue in the field. In this study, we confirm the definition and classification of CCs by surveying previous studies on Japanese CCs. Furthermore, this paper reveals the reality of CC systems that continue to evolve through a process of development and decline, by looking back at their history. In order to explain the evolutionary process, we employ the concept of “countermovement,” as advocated by economic anthropologist Karl Polanyi. Based on our outcomes, we describe three stages in the evolution of CCs, which are the reciprocal realm, integration between the reciprocal and market realms, and new realms.

Article Miyazaki and Kurita

To cite this article:  Yoshihisa Miyazaki and Ken-ichi Kurita (2018) ‘The diversity and evolutionary process of modern community currencies in Japan’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 120-131 <> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

Implementation of modern barter exchange system in Bulgaria: From an objective necessity to an objective performance

Rositsa Toncheva

University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria, Email: r@toncheva.com

This paper presents the results from an expert survey on the possibility of a modern barter exchange system (MBES) to be implemented in Bulgaria. MBES is shown as an abstract theoretical construction which helps uncover the reasons why such schemes are successful in a number of countries with different social and cultural characteristics, while in Bulgaria this phenomenon is not popular. Sadly, the results show that there is no readiness for participation in MBES. It is seen mainly as a social structure but the expectations are that it would work as a business entity. The research has found that the idea behind MBES is inapplicable under certain conditions, such as those in Bulgaria with its typical characteristics of today. Even though the MBES models are usually successful in other countries, this is probably due to the fact that those are mostly socially mature (homogenous) societies in countries with a well-developed economic infrastructure. The survey is framed by the logic of the questionaries’ boundaries and the interviewed actors.

Article Toncheva

To cite this article: Rositsa Toncheva (2018) ‘Implementation of a Modern Barter Exchange System in Bulgaria: from an objective necessity to an objective performance’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 103-119 <>ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

Assessing Local Mutual Credit as a Socioeconomic Tool for Farmers in New York State’s Hudson Valley

Andrew Bonanno

University of Georgia Department of Anthropology, Email:

Thousands of local mutual credit networks and other complementary currency systems have been developed worldwide in the last several decades. Many of these systems strive to support local economic activities such as small-scale agriculture. Although mutual credit systems and similar schemes have had significant social and economic impacts under certain conditions, they often fail to meet participants’ goals.  Nevertheless, new mutual credit systems continue to emerge. This paper analyzes the complete transactional history of one such system—the Hudson Valley Current (HVC)—from March 1, 2014, to February 28, 2015. Building on existing community currency metrics, a transaction performance ratio is introduced to understand credit flow within the HVC. Network linkage densities are also calculated to gauge potential for social capital creation. While the HVC has not been used as a significant means of exchange for farmers, metrics indicate that the HVC is a generally viable source of mutual credit and social linkage creation for some participants, at least in the short-run. Continued application of these metrics by mutual credit administrators, combined with purposeful partnerships with local farmers, might allow any potential benefits of system participation to be maintained and extended to include local farmers in a significant way.

Article Bonanno

To cite this article: Andrew Bonanno (2018) ‘Assessing Local Mutual Credit as a Socioeconomic Tool for Farmers’ in New York State’s Hudson Valley’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 89-102 <>ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

Impact assessment method: sustainability with existing frameworks and integral approach

Christophe Place

Haute École de Gestion de Genève – Geneva – Switzerland, Email :

Implementation of monetary innovation for social innovation network development may be appropriate as a reliable exchange and an incentive system for community value co-creation between stakeholders and sustainable regional development. Nevertheless, some questions remain: (1) What context and objective favour the implementation of monetary innovation? (2) How to enhance and evaluate the impacts of such innovations? To contribute to these research questions, a synthesis of 4 reference currency evaluation studies and 3 assessment frameworks standards, such as Sustainable Development Goals, Impact Reporting and Investment Standards and Global Reporting Initiative, will allow us to not only improve a previous impact assessment method of 71 indicators, by integrating an integral approach categorization, but also to qualitatively assess a recently launched currency, the Léman case study, as a first impetus with 34 indicators. Beyond policy intervention, networks of individuals and organisations may integrate an impact assessment method with an integral approach and continuous improvement process, to reach economic, social, environmental, governance and cultural impacts to evaluate the interest of supporting such initiatives. Further research is needed to develop this impact assessment framework, especially a bottom-up methodology.

Article C. Place

To cite this article: Christophe Place (2018) ‘Impact assessment of monetary innovation: sustainability with existing frameworks and integral approach’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 74-88 < ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

Contrasted cases. Successes and failures of local currency schemes in France since 2010

Jérôme Blanc* and Marie Fare**

* Université de Lyon / Sciences Po Lyon, Triangle

** Université de Lyon / Université Lumière Lyon 2, Triangle

This text contemplates the difficulties of French local currencies and the pathways to improvement, in the event of greater sustainability at the local level. After a panorama of the French local currencies, and the observation of a disappointment from a quantity viewpoint, the paper discusses requirements and improvements for a local currency (LC) to contribute to a greater sustainability at the local level. It presents the notion of the relevant territory for a local currency. It then discusses a few crucial points of improvement and the difficulties they face: the role of local governments as major partners; the need for employees in order to constitute a permanent basis for the scheme’s activity and development; the need for an digital counterpart of the currency; the need for financing activities. The conditions for a ripple effect are eventually discussed.

Article Blanc and Fare

To cite this article: Jérôme Blanc and Marie Fare (2018) ‘Pathways to Improvement. Successes and Difficulties of Local Currency Schemes in France since 2010’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 60-73 <> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

Could scaling up time currencies reduce working time, enlarge participatory democracy and redistribute wealth?

Bruno Théret

IRISSO, CNRS – Université Paris Dauphine, PSL Research University, Email:

In this article we present a proposal of a scaled-up time bank and currency at the national level. The aim of such a time currency managed by the State (or any regional public power) would be to link a legal reduction of work time in the market sphere to the development of an active – participatory – citizenship, and a reduction of economic inequalities through a redistribution of wealth. Paradoxically, we spend much of our lives working in order to finance through taxes political and administrative activities that we could for the most part exercise ourselves, yet from which we are excluded because of the rationing of disposable political time and the liberal-bureaucratic constitution of the state. The proposal starts from the idea that taxes paid for by additional work in a capitalist economy can be at least partially replaced by transferring work hours from market to civic activities. It entails that the reduction of work time should be seen not only as a way to reduce unemployment in the market sphere, but also as a political device allowing the development of participatory democracy through the payment of taxes “in kind”, i.e. in hours of political and administrative activities. Moreover, the value of these activities could be recognized by a national time bank or treasury issuing a time currency which would be required in order to pay a democratically determined share of the tax burden. This device would be all the more interesting in that it would not necessarily imply lower salaries or re-investable profit. All that would be required is that reduced work hours be matched by tax cuts accompanied by corresponding cuts in public spending. The latter, in turn, would be offset by increased civic involvement in political activity and public services. The impact of this transfer of time on economic inequalities could be overwhelming but would depend on the tariff of national time currency in the legal tender market currency.

Article Theret

To cite this article: Bruno Théret (2018) ‘How scaled up time currencies could be used in order to reduce work time, enlarge participatory democracy and redistribute wealth’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 50-59 <>ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

Financing for development: a monetary issue in which money has no say

Tristan Dissaux

Laboratoire Triangle, UMR 5206, Université Lyon 2, France, Email:

For developing countries, financing needs remain important, especially to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper deals with the problematic of financing for development (FfD), by focusing on what we think to be its major blind spot: money. If development is far from being only about money, its financing does have monetary aspects, which are most often omitted. We first emphasise the current prevailing FfD paradigm and show that it stands on a particular theoretical corpus. In particular, it adopts a restrictive understanding of money, carrying important political, economic and social implications. Against what can be described as a non-monetary approach to financing for development, we consider the nature and origins of money. In this light, the current FfD paradigm appears as inconsistent, while tools such as social and complementary currencies can be relevant. We here explore their participation to financing and their potentials regarding this issue.

Article Dissaux

To cite this article: Tristan Dissaux (2018) ‘Financing for development: a monetary issue in which money has no say’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 37-49 <> ISSN 1325-9547.