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
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.
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
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