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) <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.019

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. <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.001

Prices in parallel currency: The case of the exchange network of Chania, Crete

This paper investigates the prices set within the Exchange Network of Chania and tries to examine what prices are attributed to which products and services, how those prices are set and what they reveal about the values of the goods offered. Moreover, the further aim of the paper is to explore the implications of those prices concerning the function of the scheme itself, within the context of the local economy of the Chania area. The data have been gathered during regular visits to the open markets of the scheme since January 2012. Therefore, the paper attempts to contribute original research findings concerning prices in parallel currency schemes and study several important issues which arise in multiple currency practice.

Irene Sotiropoulou

IJCCR 2015 Sotiropolou

To cite this article: Sotiropoulou, I. (2015) ‘Prices in parallel currency: The case of the exchange network of Chania, Crete’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 128-136 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.013

2015 Special Issue: Multiple Moneys and Development

Papers available individually on the website, or you can download the entire IJCCR 2015 Special Issue here (36MB).

Editorial Introduction: Money and Development   Georgina Gómez D1-5
The socio-economics of community currency systems
Territorial development and Community currencies : symbolic meanings in Brazilian Community development banks Marie Fare, Carlos de Freitas and Camille Meyer D6-17
Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Development in Kenya: The Case of the Bangla-Pesa William O. Ruddick, Morgan A. Richards, and Jem Bendell D18-30
Virtual social currencies for unemployed people: social networks and job market access Maëlle Della Peruta  and Dominique Torre D31-41
Price Setting Mechanisms in Complementary Currencies in Argentina’s Redes de Trueque  Georgina Gómez D42-52
What kinds of volunteer become more motivated by community currency? Influence of perceptions of reward on motivation Ken-ichi Kurita , Masayuki Yoshida and Yoshihisa Miyazaki D53-61
Building trust: exploring the role of community exchange and reputation Robin Krabbe D62-71
Community Currency in Korea: How do we envision community currency? Joonmo Kang and Baeg Eui Hong D72-80
Beyond growth: problematic relationships between the financial crisis, care and public economies, and alternative currencies Maurizio Ruzzene D81-93
Comparative work on community currency systems
French complementary currency systems: exploring contributions to promote social currency in Argentina Ricardo Orzi D94-105
The Financing of Complementary Currencies: Problems and Perspectives Rolf. F. H. Schroeder D106-113
On Velocity in Several Complementary Currencies Josep Lluis de la Rosa and James Stodder D114-127
Prices in Parallel Currency: the case of the Exchange Network of Chania, Crete Irene Sotiropoulou D128-136
Cooperation and Intertrade between Community Currencies : From fundamentals to rule-making and clearing systems, including a case study of the Zurich Area, Switzerland Jens Martignoni D137-151
Validating and improving the Impact of Complementary Currency Systems through impact assessment frameworks Christophe Place and Leander Bindewald D152-164
It’s the motivation, stupid! The influence of motivation of secondary currency initiators on the currencies’ success Lukas Fesenfeld, Jan Stuckatz, Iona Summerson, Thomas Kiesgen, Daniela Ruß, Maja Klimaschewski D165-172

It’s the motivation, stupid! The influence of motivation of secondary currency initiators on the currencies’ success

This paper attempts to explain the success of secondary currencies. Success is defined as the degree to which the initiators of these currencies manage to reach their original goals. In order to do so, we draw on two explanatory factors:  the motivation of a currency’s founder and the degree of organization. We employed a combination of qualitative interviews, secondary literature review and standardized questionnaires with seven secondary currency projects in Croatia (CROM), Germany (KannWas, Engelgeld), Greece (Ovolos, TEM) and the United Kingdom (Bristol Pound, Brixton Pound). The main findings are that projects which pursue several different motivations are more successful than those with fewer goals. As for the degree of organization, projects which score high on all dimensions of organization are correlated with higher project success. Building on this we propose a typology of two groups: Type 1 cases have low diversity of motivation and organization (CROM and Engelgeld) and Type 2 cases have high diversity of motivation and organization (Bristol Pound, Brixton Pound, and TEM). The two remaining cases, the Ovolos and the KannWas cannot be clearly assigned to any of the types. The motivation-organization typology can guide future research on the motivation of founding and using secondary currencies.

Lukas Fesenfeld, Jan Stuckatz, Iona Summerson, Thomas Kiesgen, Daniela Ruß, Maja Klimaschewski

IJCCR 2015 fesenfeld

To cite this article: Fesenfeld, L., Stuckatz, J., Summerson, I., Kiesgen, T., Ruß, D. and Klimaschewski, M. (2015) ‘It’s the motivation, stupid! The influence of motivation of secondary currency initiators on the currencies’ success’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 165-172  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.016

Validating and improving the Impact of Complementary Currency Systems through impact assessment frameworks

Credibility and legitimacy are required to improve the design and implementation of complementary currency systems (CCS) and to engage with public institutions, while depending on sustained support from funders. It is hence necessary to evidence the impact of CCS as effective and efficient tools to reach sustainable development goals. Only around a fourth of the existing studies even touch upon impact evaluation processes. A standardisation of impact evaluation would lead to improve the quantity, quality and comparability of the data collected, as well as to support longitudinal studies and juxtapositions of different types of currencies in their environmental and socio-economic context. After reviewing the literature, this article proposes two complementary approaches to assess the impact of CCS: a prototype of an integral Impact Assessment Matrix based on the goals, objectives and performance indicators, and a tool based on the “Theory of Change” methodology as a common, comprehensive and incremental approach for impact evaluation. Both propositions are currently being applied and further developed by the authors.

Christophe Place and Leander Bindewald

IJCCR 2015 Place Bindewald

To cite this article: Place, C. and Bindewald, L. (2015) ‘Validating and improving the Impact of Complementary Currency Systems through impact assessment frameworks’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 152-164  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.015

Cooperation and Intertrade between Community Currencies: From fundamentals to rule-making and clearing systems

Cooperation, interchange or intertrade of complementary currencies is not yet very common, perhaps of because the funding impulse of most complementary currencies does not cover the question of interchange and cooperation yet, or because theoretical aspects are not often stud- ied. The article describes money or currency as an instrument of cooperation, based on a socio- logical and institutional economics background. It then postulates currency as an operating system and focuses on the technical terms of trade if one would try to establish cooperation between such systems. Basic principles of interchange and intertrade, which are necessary for success, are presented, such as the ideas of trade balance, compensation funds, exchange rates and clearing, set-points and limits, references, anchoring money and tolls and taxes. Further some aspects of governance and negotiation are discussed and a nested framework of rules is adapted to currencies. As an Appendix a case study of the Zurich region is presented where a process of negotiation and building of an interchange network between several CC-groups is on-going.

Jens Martignoni

IJCCR 2015 martignoni

To cite this article: Martignoni, J., (2015) ‘Cooperation and Intertrade between Community Currencies : From fundamentals to rule-making and clearing systems, including a case study of the Zurich Area, Switzer- land’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 137-151 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.014

Building trust: exploring the role of community exchange and reputation

This paper identifies trust as a current crucial challenge for sustainability. Our increased reliance on exchange, specifically where the exchange involves ambivalent trust is a further aspect of this challenge. Ambivalent trust refers here to conflict between our desire to trust others and a reticence to do so, given evidence of opportunism, particularly with regard to strangers. Negotiated exchange is proposed as necessary to account for ambivalent trust. This paper seeks to investigate the potential of addressing ambivalent trust via negotiated exchange using community exchange. Community exchange is a hybrid currency system between monetary exchange and gift exchange. This paper uses the case study of a recently commenced project in North-West Tasmania, Australia, called CENTs – Community Exchange North-West Tasmania, to analyse these dynamics. CENTs aims via a series of stages to build trust and then incorporate the concept of a reputation currency. Although in the early stages of development, to date CENTs is showing potential to build trust via the concept of community exchange, albeit on a necessarily incremental basis.

Robin Krabbe

IJCCR 2015 Krabbe

To cite this article: Krabbe, R. (2015) ‘Building trust: exploring the role of community exchange and reputation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 62-71  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547  http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.007

Community Currency in Korea: How do we envision community currency?

Community currency schemes were first introduced in Korea in 1998. Since then, there have been many efforts to use them but no report or academic research on the topic in Korea. Thus, we conducted a field investigation to identify the scope of community currency schemes in Korea and as of 2012 we found 43 groups which use them. The design elements were also investigated but most groups were in an under-developed state, therefore design elements were unidentifiable. Furthermore, we investigate how the community currency coordinators in Korea envision the system using Q-methodology, a method to find the subjective views on the topic. The result shows that the perception on community currency can be divided into four types: ‘Neighborhood as a community’ in which coordinators agree with mainstream economic values and view community currencies as a tool to revitalize the community and to empower local residents; ‘Alternative community’ in which coordinators view  currencies as the means to resist the dominant neoliberal ideology; ‘Community through eco-friendly affinity groups’, in which the scheme is a tool to promote an ecologically-friendly lifestyle, and  ‘Ecological community’, which represents coordinators who believe that it is an alternative to capitalism and a way to maintain an ecological community.

Joonmo Kang and Baeg Eui Hong

IJCCR 2015 Kang Hong

To cite this article: Kang, J. and Hong, B. (2015) ‘Community Currency in Korea: How do we envision community currency?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 72-80  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.008

Complementary Currencies for 
Sustainable Development in Kenya: 
The Case of the Bangla-Pesa

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

IJCCR 2015 Ruddick et al

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

What kinds of volunteers become more motivated by community currency? 
Influence of perceptions of reward on motivation

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

IJCCR 2015 Kurita et al

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

On Velocity in Several Complementary Currencies

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.

Josep Lluis de la Rosa and James Stodder

IJCCR 2015 Rosa Stodder

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

The Financing of Complementary Currencies: Problems and Perspectives

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.

Rolf. F. H. Schroeder

IJCCR 2015 Schroeder

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

French complementary currency systems: exploring contributions to promote social currency in Argentina

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’.

Ricardo Orzi

IJCCR 2015 Orzi

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

Beyond growth: problematic relationships between the financial crisis, care and public economies, and alternative currencies

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.

Maurizio Ruzzene

IJCCR 2015 Ruzzene

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

Price setting mechanisms in 
complementary currencies in Argentina’s Redes de Trueque

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.

Georgina M. Gomez

IJCCR 2015 Gomez

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

Virtual social currencies for unemployed people: social networks and job market access

Complementary currencies are developing all around the world, taking various forms (material or immaterial) and fulfilling various functions. They are frequently introduced in order to promote local economy development and to fight against social exclusion. In this paper, we analyze the particular case of virtual currency circulation inside a local community of unemployed people. We elaborate a model on the assumptions that the organization of LETS and the circulation of complementary currencies have two properties: (i) they help unemployed workers to overcome the double coincidence of want necessity of an informal sector founded on barter exchange; (ii) they contribute to maintain and develop unemployed workers’ skills and employability. We study the global properties of a job market associating traditional short-term and long-term unemployment to the organization of LETS. Using a search theoretic model, we find that the initial level of trust of agents in the complementary currency(cies) but also the effective properties of this(ese) currency(cies) inside the LETS are crucial for LETS to survive and become permanent. We also find that if the stationary equilibrium of the job-market includes LETS, then LETS have a positive influence on the rate of employment, on the expected utility of employed workers, and are Pareto improving when the benchmark case is a job market without any LETS.

Maëlle Della Peruta  and Dominique Torre

IJCCR 2015 Della Peruta Torre

To cite this article: Della Peruta, M. and Torre, D., (2015) ‘Virtual social currencies for unemployed people: social networks and job market access’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 31-41  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.004

Territorial development and Community currencies: symbolic meanings in 
Brazilian Community development banks

Brazilian community development banks (CDBs) have established various coordinated financial mechanisms aiming to restructure poor and peripheral local economies. Their development strategy includes an instrument to facilitate access to microfinance and a community currency, combined with the definition of vocational training programmes and support for business start-ups. Put together, these different activities constitute the endogenous and resilient territorial development strategy defined by community development banks. Little scientific literature has been devoted to the study of community currencies in this process. This article presents an overview of the symbolic meanings conveyed by the currency of Banco Palmas, the first and most prominent CDB. First, we present some historical and territorial characteristics of Banco Palmas. Second, we analyze the symbolic role of its currency : money as a bond/link (the building of the community on its territory); money as a medium for institutionalization (of the community itself and to the exogenous actors, as to define a  federative project); and finally money as a vector-catalyst (when the plasticity of money allows to explore its different formats and so, to adapt it to the new perspectives of community and territorial development).

Marie Fare, Carlos de Freitas and Camille Meyer

ijccr-2015-fare-freitas-meyer

To cite this article: Fare, M., de Freitas, C. and Meyer, C, (2015) ‘Territorial development and Community currencies : symbolic meanings in Brazilian Community development banks’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (D) 6-17  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.002

The Community Currency Scene in Spain

billetesThis article maps the contours of the community currency scene in Spain. In so doing, it reveals a diverse and vibrant landscape of almost 400 currencies. These are made up of both tried and tested community currency types: service time-banks and mutual credit schemes; a regional currency, the Bilbao-based ekhi and more innovative alternatives such as barter shops and loyalty schemes. The scene is national in scope and has undergone rapid recent growth. The sources used in the study comprise scholarly books, articles published in the Spanish national and regional press, an online database, and interviews and focus groups conducted during field trips to Spain with academics with interests in alternative economic practices, some of Spain’s leading community currency pioneers and community currency user groups and activists. In an effort to reveal the factors shaping community currency practice in Spain, the article discusses the role of municipal councils, community currency pioneers, the recent economic downturn, pre-figurative economic experiments conducted by radical social movements and ideological frameworks such as feminism and de-growth. The article also highlights the extent to which Spanish community currencies have been influenced by developments in Europe, the USA and Latin America.

Neil Hughes

IJCCR 2015 Hughes

To cite this article: Hughes, N. (2015) ‘The Community Currency Scene in Spain’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Winter) 1-11  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547  http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.017