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).
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
This 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.
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
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 32,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Results are presented for a first-in-class microsimulation model of a local-national currency system. The agent-based, stock-flow consistent model uses US Census income data as a starting point to project the evolution of local currency (community currency) and dollar flows within a simplified county-level economy over a period of 28 years. Changes in the distribution of family income are tracked. The community currency system under investigation is the Token Exchange System (TES), a component of the larger Local Economic Direct Democracy Association (LEDDA) framework under development by the Principled Societies Project. The model captures key design features of a TES, and results suggest parameter ranges under which the simulated TES is capable of achieving stated aims. Median and mean take-home family income more than double during the simulation period, income inequality is nearly eliminated, and the un- employment rate drops to a 1 percent structural level. The need for more sophisticated modeling of a TES, and avenues of future research, are discussed.
To cite this article: Boik, J. (2014) ‘First Micro-Simulation Model of a LEDDA Community Currency-Dollar Economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) 11-29 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2014.002
Timebanking provides an empirical entry point into a better understanding of the discursive strategies used to legitimize alternative currencies. Theoretically this study uses a post-Marxist perspective, particularly the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Methodologically it uses the mixed methodology of a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis to examine the websites of 334 timebanks in the United States. Findings include identifying how ideas of strengthening community and social bonds are used by timebanks to construct discursive antagonisms to capitalism. Contributions of this study include extending Laclau and Mouffe’s work on radical political participation to J.K. Gibson-Graham’s conceptualization of economic difference. This study also demonstrates how a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis allows for deeper understanding of counter-hegemonic discursive strategies used by alternative economic exchanges. Suggestions for future research are provided.
Julie Steinkopf Rice
To cite this article: Rice, J. (2014) ‘A Counter-Hegemonic Discourse of Economic Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Timebanking in the United States’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) 1-10 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2014.001
The paper aims to show the impact that a complementary currency may have on a national economy from a theoretical point of view. A system dynamics model is created to describe the mechanics of money issuance in capitalist economies as well as in economies where there is no inside money. As an example, the first outcomes of a barter network implemented in 2008 by the STRO foundation in El Salvador (called Punto Transacciones) are presented and analyzed. Finally, using data from a complementary currency experience in El Salvador the spending multiplier is calculated. The main result shows that there is a greater spending multiplier in digital community currencies systems than in regular money market. Although the magnitude of PT network is still negligible from a macroeconomic point of view, the result is a desired outcome which may help to cushion the impact of macroeconomic shocks on labour market, contributing to stabilize aggregate demand.
To cite this article: Groppa, O. (2013) ‘Complementary currency and its impact on the economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 45 – 57 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.005
As digital goods and services become an integral part of modern day society, the demand for a standardized and ubiquitous form of digital currency increases. And it is not just about digital goods; the adoption of electronic and mobile commerce has not reached its expected level at all parts of the globe as expected. One of the main reasons behind that is the lack of a universal digital as well as virtual currency. Many countries in the world have failed to realize the potential of e-commerce, let alone m-commerce, because of rigid financial regulations and apparent disorientation & gap between monetary stakeholders across borders and continents. Digital currency which is internet-based, non-banks issued and circulated within a certain range of networks has brought a significant impact on the development of e-commerce. The research and analysis of this paper would focus on the feasibility of the operation of a digital currency and its economic implications.
Sowmyan Jegatheesan, Sabbir Ahmed, Austin Chamney and Nour El-kadri
To cite this article: Jegatheesan, S., Ahmed, S., Chamney, A. and El-kadri, N. (2013) ‘Is A Global Virtual Currency With Universal Acceptance Feasible?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 26-44 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.004
Every day brings reports of new financial crises and financial malfeasance within the banking and financial establishment. In an effort to keep the banking system functioning, the largest banks and financial institutions have been relieved by national governments of tremendous amounts of their bad debts, shifting that burden onto the shoulders of the citizenry. At the same time, governments are imposing austerity upon their citizens in order to reduce the extremity of their budget shortfalls. Clearly, the global system of money and finance contains structural flaws that must be recognized and transcended. Reform is very unlikely to come in time to avert widespread social, political, economic, and environmental disasters. That leaves it to citizens, businesses, and communities to take action on their own behalf to ameliorate the negative effects of the failing system. Parallel systems of exchange and finance are both necessary, and easily implemented at the local and regional level. The most effective approach is the process of direct clearing of credits amongst buyers and sellers. This credit clearing process, which is being used in such systems as LETS and commercial trade exchanges, enables the creation of local liquidity based on local production, avoiding the use of conventional money and bank borrowing and moving local economies toward resilience, independence, and sustainability. The focus of this article is on credit clearing as a local exchange option, and deals specifically with the proper allocation of credit within credit clearing exchanges. It explains the causes of (1) the “pooling” of credits, (2) stagnation of circulation, and (3) failure to thrive, it prescribes policies to be applied in credit allocation, and it describes metrics that are important in assessing the performance of individual member accounts and in monitoring the overall health of a credit clearing system. Further, it explains the distinction between private credit and collective credit and the role of each in facilitating moneyless exchange, and recommends procedures for preventing excessive negative and positive balances while enabling both saving and investment within the system.
T. H. Greco Jr.
To cite this article: Greco, T. (2013) ‘Taking Moneyless Exchange to Scale: Measuring and Maintaining the Health of a Credit Clearing System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 19-25 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.003
This paper concerns the open source software project Bitcoin, which is often described as virtual cash. The paper investigates what ‘virtual’ signifies when applied to ‘cash’ and in turn what ‘virtual cash’ says about Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the latest cryptographic effort to create digital cash-like tokens, where Bitcoin’s designer Nakamoto argues that users now no longer have to trust a third party, traditionally the bank. Paradoxically, for Bitcoin it is key that nodes in the network agree on the status of the shared block chain database. Trust remains to be established, albeit in a different manner. Power is not destroyed, but transferred from banks to Bitcoin’s protocol. The paper concludes that ‘virtual’ refers to Bitcoin’s model of how cash appears to function in everyday exchange, allowing user privacy. Bitcoin does not model another aspect of cash, its function as a credential referring to debt. Bitcoin discontinues the concept of debt.
To cite this article: Jansen, M. (2013) ‘Bitcoin: The Political ‘Virtual’ of an Intangible Material Currency’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 8-18 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.002
Groups involved in complementary currencies (CC’s) that push for an interchange between their member-currencies are not yet a favourite subject in the existing CC-grassroots movement. One reason could be the existing doubts of activists that such structures might be non-transparent, support instability, raise corruption or be a gate for the comeback of the ruling system of limitless inequality. On the other side, an interchange could open bigger markets, add more diversity or raise the number of participants above a critical number for long term survival. The authors present the case of the region of Zurich, Switzerland, where a council of different CC-organizations was founded. As a result a new software platform cc-hub was developed to bundle regional LET systems. The platform is based on the open source Online Banking software, Cyclos, and covers many possible needs of a regionally or purpose-linked network of CC’s. It is able to support interchange, improve the efficiency of clearing and help to build up the necessary resilience for long term stability. It could serve as a model for cooperation between small neighbouring CC’s, for organizational improvement and additional economical benefit. But to verify such benefits will be a subject of further research.
Lucas Huber and Jens Martignoni
To cite this article: Huber, L. and Martignoni, J. (2013) ‘Improving Complementary Currency Interchange By A Regional Hub-Solution’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 1-7 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.001
Gwendolyn Hallsmith and Bernard Lietaer (2011), Creating Wealth – Growing local economies with local currencies, reviewed by Irene Sotiropoulou C1-2
DESTINIE JONES (2010), Shared Monetary Governance: Regulatory Frameworks, Participatory Internal Decision-making and Scale in Institutional Access to General and Special Purpose Currencies reviewed by Kristofer Dittmer C2-3
DAVID GRAEBER (2011) DEBT – THE FIRST 5,000 YEARS, reviewed by Jeppe Graugaard C3-4
WILKINSON, R. PICKETT, K. (2010) THE SPIRIT LEVEL: WHY EQUALITY IS BETTER FOR EVERYONE, reviewed by Jaap Rozema C4-5
Anitra Nelson and Frans Timmerman (eds) Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies, reviewed by Phedeas Stephanides C 6-7
This paper studies the determinants of the usage of alternative currencies (currencies which exists parallel to the national currency of a country) across countries. We find that monetary stability, financial sector development and a country’s general level of economic development are all positively related to both the likelihood of a country hosting an alternative currency as well to the number of alternative currencies a country is hosting. This suggests that these currencies, in contrast to their historical function, mainly act as a complement to fiat money. We discuss the implications for the role of fiat money in the economy as well as for the welfare effects of alternative currencies.
Damjan Pfajfar, Giovanni Sgro, and Wolf Wagner
To cite this article: Pfajfar, D., Sgro, G. and Wagner, W. (2012) ‘Are Alternative Currencies or a Complement to Fiat Money? Evidence from Cross-Country Data’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 45 – 56 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.004
2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems:
Multiple moneys and development: making payments in diverse economies
Organised by the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
June 19th to 22nd, 2013 (Academic strand: 19th and 20th June; Practitioners’ strand: 21st and 22nd June)
The conference seeks to discuss the social, economic and political significance of multiple currency systems for development. It calls for papers on complementary currency systems, historical experiences with multiple monies, alternative exchange networks, and other practices with diverse means of payment. The II International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems also aims at consolidating the practice of holding a meeting every two years for researchers and practitioners on the topic.
It offers space to academics and practitioners alike to organize panels, workshops, and any other session formats that participants see fit to stimulate the exchange of ideas and experiences. In principle the conference will have two strands with academic and practitioners’ activities respectively but there will be various instances for interconnection. The first two days of the conference (June 19th and June 20th) will concentrate the academic panels and the last two days (June 21st and June 22nd) will focus on the practitioners’ activities.
The conference will be bilingual (English and Spanish) with sessions organized in either language.
Conference fees’ waivers and travel subsidies are available but in great demand. Please submit your request with your abstract, with details on what kind of waiver or subsidy you require and a budget for your travel expenses, if applicable.
by Mayumi Hayashi. Japan’s Fureai Kippu (‘Ticket for a Caring Relationship’) refers to mutual support networks of members of all ages, targeted at providing care for older people through exchanges of time credits, sometimes supplemented by cash payments (‘time-banking’). This has attracted increasing attention as a potential contribution to the ‘Big Society’ with an ageing population. However, despite its pioneering role and scale, relatively little is known about the details and outcomes of Fureai Kippu, and meanwhile simplistic and optimistic generalisations predominate. This article, using historical analysis and empirical evidence, seeks to address these gaps by examining the origins of Fureai Kippu, its early expansion, post-2000 slowdown and responses. It considers the practical contributions and varied benefits potentially offered by the system, along with its operational difficulties. The conclusion is that Fureai Kippu is so complex that not only is evaluation difficult but also no universal panacea can be expected from it.
To cite this article: Hayashi, M. (2012) ‘Japan’s Fureai Kippu Time-banking in Elderly Care: Origins, Development, Challenges and Impact’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (A) 30-44 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.003
Bringing together 17 new research papers from around the world, this special issue celebrates thirty years of community and complementary currencies, and assesses their impacts, potential and challenges. Edited by Jerome Blanc. View the papers individually, using the menu above, or download the whole issue here. IJCCR 2012 Vol 16 Special Issue Complete
Editorial Thirty Years of Community and Complementary Currencies Jérôme Blanc
Historical accounts in the U.S.
Democratizing Money: Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation Saul Wainwright
Selling Scrip to America: Ideology, Self-help and the experiments of the Great Depression Sarah Elvins
Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s Loren Gatch
Community Currencies as Integrative Communication Media for Evolutionist Institutional Design Makoto Nishibe
A comparison in transaction efficiency between dispersive and concentrated money creation Nozomi Kichiji and Makoto Nishibe
Does Demurrage matter for Complementary Currencies? Hugo Godschalk
Economic activity without official currency in Greece: The * hypothesis Irene Sotiropoulou
shortcomings and achievements
Sustainability of the Argentine Complementary Currency Systems: four governance systems Georgina M. Gómez
Moral Money – The action guiding Impact of Complementary Currencies. A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money. Christian Thiel
Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view Krister Volkmann
Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy Molly Scott Cato and Marta Suárez
Local exchange trade systems in Central European post communist countries Jelínek P., Szalay Zs., Konečný A.
An Empirical Study of the Social Effects of Community Currencies Hiromi Nakazato and Takeshi Hiramoto
CC Coupon Circulation and Shopkeepers’ Behaviour: A Case Study of the City of Musashino, Tokyo, Japan Ken-ichi Kurita, Yoshihisa Miyazaki and Makoto Nishibe
A two-marketplace and two-currency system: A view on business-to-business barter exchange Melina Young
prospects and projects
Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes: changes ahead? Hélène Joachain and Frédéric Klopfert
Trophic currencies: ecosystem modeling and resilient economies Marc Brakken, Preston Austin, Stephanie Rearick and Leander Bindewald
To cite this article: Blanc, J. (2012) ‘Editorial 2012 (Volume 16 Special Issue): Thirty Years of Community and Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 1-4 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.006
Wealth is limited. We propose that value is infinite. Any currency isolates certain forms of value to transform into wealth, but those other forms of value remain even as they are undervalued. An economic system with a single currency will only recognize a very limited set of activities as valuable. As a consequence, many of the activities that constitute a functional community, and in turn a functional economy, lie outside of the value analysis of our existing economies. In this paper we present a theoretical currency model analogous to trophic food chains. As plants, grazers, and predators all have different perspective on value and operate accordingly, so do similar distinctions exist in society. We suggest that appropriately differentiated currencies from supranational currencies to regional, sectoral and down to timebanking and nonreciprocal exchanges can help better activate the value in the world, empowering communities and economies.
Marc Brakken, Preston Austin, Stephanie Rearick and Leander Bindewald
To cite this article: Brakken, M., Austin, P., Rearick, S. and Bindewald, L. (2012) ‘Trophic currencies: ecosystem modeling and resilient economies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 169-175 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.023
Using complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes is a trend that seems to be progressively emerging in Europe. The Belgian Science Policy INESPO Project, which provides the framework for the research presented in this paper, is building on this emerging trend. The aim of the INESPO project is indeed to build new instruments for energy saving policies in the household sector based on the innovative coupling of Complementary Currencies (CC) and Smart Meters (SM). According to the rationale of the project, the new CC-SM instruments should promote behavioural changes in everyday life as well as encourage households to invest in energy efficiency. The idea behind the project is not to miss the opportunity of including an incentive scheme for behavioural change should a significant SM roll-out take place.
In order to gain insights for the design of the CC part of the instrument, a first step was to turn to projects that had in the past already used CC as policy instrument for behavioural change towards sustainability. To this purpose, projects which have pioneered this path in Europe were analysed. However, although this emerging trend for CC systems had not been left unnoticed by academics (see, for instance Seyfang, 2006 for an insightful discussion on the contribution of NU-Spaarpas to sustainable consumption, or Blanc 2010 and Blanc and Fare, 2010 for a system typology), it appeared that, to the best of our knowledge, no taxonomy of their constitutive parameters had been developed yet.
In this paper, we would like to contribute to the research on CC as policy instruments for environmental sustainability by presenting a selection of such CC systems and by proposing a taxonomy of their constitutive parameters. The resulting hierarchical classification of parameters is also intended to serve as a building tool for designing similar CC systems. However, in our view, “going down the bones” of CC systems, as it is done with the taxonomy, is not enough to make such CC systems thrive. Indeed, beyond the systematic list of parameters that will define the global architecture of the system, attention should also be given to “flesh” (e.g. expectations from stakeholders and carriers of the system) and “soul” (e.g. the conceptual framework used to build the system).
Hélène Joachain and Frédéric Klopfert
To cite this article: Joachain, H. and Klopfert, F. (2012) ‘Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes: changes ahead?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 156-168 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.022