This paper is a report on the development of a complementary currency system that allows Kenyans in informal settlements to trade goods and services and meet sustainable development objectives. The system in this report, Bangla-Pesa, uses a ‘collaborative credit’ model through a network of local business, whose owners often struggle to meet their basic needs (also known as ‘mutual credit’). The paper documents the reasons for its creation, how it was launched, the immediate positive benefits upon launch, and some of the difficulties faced. Bangla-Pesa is shown to have facilitated, upon its launch, exchanges of roughly 50 Euros in value per day among 109 businesses, which is projected to raise living standards in the community primarily through the utilization of excess business capacity. After only a week of circulation – Bangla-Pesa represented an estimated 22% total trade among community members. This system’s implementation and governance model are detailed with the aim of improving upon and replicating the model for future sustainable development programs.
William O. Ruddick, Morgan A. Richards, and Jem Bendell
To cite this article: Ruddick, W., Richards, M. and Bendell, J. (2015) ‘Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Development in Kenya: The Case of the Bangla-Pesa’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 18-30 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.003
Local communities in Japan are struggling to increase the number of participants in volunteer activities in order to revitalize local life. To maintain the enthusiasm of active volunteers and entice new volunteers, a new type of reward to increase motivation is needed. Accordingly, community currencies (hereafter, CCs) have been introduced as a reward in an attempt to provide such a source of motivation. In particular, local residents have been expected to participate in volunteer work more frequently in return for receiving CCs; however, there is no evidence yet as to whether CCs arouse their motivation to do volunteer work. In this study, we investigated whether CCs play a role in raising local residents’ motivation to do volunteer work. Our conclusion is that even some people with a no-reward orientation are likely to have their motivation raised by CCs, rather than diminished. This result shows that their perception towards CCs and cash is dramatically different though CCs have the same monetary value as cash.
Ken-ichi Kurita , Masayuki Yoshida and Yoshihisa Miyazaki
To cite this article: Kurita, K., Yoshida, M. and Miyazaki, Y. (2015) ‘What kinds of volunteer become more motivated by community currency? Influence of perceptions of reward on motivation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 53-61 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.006
We analyse the velocity of several complementary currencies, notably the WIR, RES, Chiemgauer, Sol, Berkshares dollars, and several other cases. Then we describe the diversity in their velocity of circulation, and seek potential explanations for these differences. For example, WIR velocity is 2.6 while RES velocity is 1.9 despite being similar currencies. The higher speed may be explained by WIR blended loans among other benefits or by the fact that there are nearly 20.000 unregistered members that contribute with their transactions. Using a comparative method between cases, the article explores a number of possible explanations on the increases in velocity, apart from prevailing demurrage approaches.
To cite this article: de la Rosa, J. L. and Stodder, J. (2015) ‘On Velocity in Several Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (D) 114-127 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.012
Costs and cost coverage of complementary currencies has been neglected by researchers so far. This article provides an analysis of the different types of costs incurred and asks for appropriate means of financing such projects. External public and private sources are discussed in a critical manner. Self-financing appears to be a viable alternative; however, considering overall transaction costs, the burden to be carried by participants is considered to be a significant constraint with regard to this source. In the final part the question is discussed whether and how it can be possible to finance regional currencies that would have a significant economic impact. A scenario illustrates the potential of this feature with regard to the construction of new types of systems.
To cite this article: Schroeder, R. (2015) ‘The Financing of Complementary Currencies: Problems and Perspectives’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 106-113 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.011
Since 2010 there has been an increasing proliferation of complementary currency systems (CCS) in France and other countries of Europe facing the Euro crisis. These CCS are shaped by the interest in a civic reclaim of the currency and the aspiration for a full-citizenship in which two principles stand out: participation and autonomy. The aims resonated with the expectations of the community currencies in Argentina between 1995 and 2005. This research studied the French CCS with the goal of rethinking the dynamics of social currencies in present Argentina. The study presents a brief overview of the present CCS in Argentina and France, on which fieldwork was done between April and May 2013. Despite differences in the macroeconomic structures and context, the present Argentine CCS may find inspiration in the French experiences, namely the inclusion of various state and financial sector organisations and the strong civic dynamics of the ‘consom-acteur’.
To cite this article: Orzi, R. (2015) ‘French complementary currency systems: exploring contributions to promote social currency in Argentina’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 94-105 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.010
Financing non-capitalist (public, solidarity and care) economies with current monetary resources raises many economic and environmental problems. This research focuses on the opportunities offered by alternative currencies as a possible solution and discusses their limits. We demonstrate how time-based systems of measure, exchange and credit can foster sustainable financing of non-capitalist economies in a more economically efficient, localised and ecological way. The key is to link them to an average value of labour time, which can significantly widen the power, functions and economic role of alternative currencies. Above all it can foster a new type of universal ecological protection against speculative finance and exploitation of resources, promoting a return to taking care: of ourselves, of others, of our community currencies and the world we live in.
To cite this article: Ruzzene, M. (2015) ‘Beyond growth: problematic relationships between the financial crisis, care and public economies, and alternative currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 81-93 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.009
Complementary currency systems are based on principles of solidarity and contestation of the regular currency systems, so their prices may differ from those in the regular economy. This study aims to explore that assumption and discusses in what ways and for what reasons some prices are different. Based on data collected in Buenos Aires during 2004, it researched the ways in which various prices in the Argentine Redes de Trueque followed those in the regular economy or internal considerations of the system, as relative supply and demand, production costs, and ethical and institutional factors. It found substantial evidence against the assumption that prices in the CCS were a direct conversion of prices in pesos. Each node was organised as a price network in which critical prices -namely those of groceries bought in pesos- were used as reference for other prices. The result was a power asymmetry in favour of those who had pesos to get supplies in supermarkets, but some traders refrained from obtaining the maximum profit and preferred to ask a “fair price”. Notions of fairness and shared values, however, varied widely, like the effectiveness of the institutional controls put in place to keep prices down.
To cite this article: Gomez, G. (2015) ‘Price Setting Mechanisms in Complementary Currencies in Argentina’s Redes de Trueque’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 42-52 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.005