New article: CCS in Finland

When is money not a currency? Developments from Finland of proto-community currencies

Marcus Petz*

* Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Email:


The article is a case study of several digitally based schemes recently operating in Finland where some functions and properties of money are evident. While working effectively as designed, they do not fully meet the criteria of a well-functioning community currency. The schemes include: sysmä, a digitally based hyperlocal system of account introduced by the rural Sysmä municipality; Pisteet kotiin®, a housing association points system in the city of Tampere, copied from a working Dutch model; BookMooch, a global book-swapping site that has extended its operations throughout Finland. Explored in the article are the institutional enabling and inhibitory factors and implications for and from other community currency projects. Data was collected by participant observation and semi-structured interviews in all schemes. Additional media surveying, internet webscrapes and online surveying supplemented this data. Along with the demarcation problem between currency and money, the technical issues about scale and purpose, if such schemes are to develop their offerings to become fully fledged currencies, are considered. The concept of “current-see” proposed by the MetaCurrency Project, is used as a lens to evaluate if the schemes achieve their purpose and whether further development is desirable or possible. The concept of a proto-community currency is developed.


Green economics, community of use, CC terminology, integral theory, pattern language.

Article Petz

To cite this article: Petz, M. (2020) ‘When is money not a currency? Developments from Finland of Proto-Community Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research Volume 24 (Summer 2020) 30-53;; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI

Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach

The Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) is a form of local currency which is non-tangible, interest-free, freely created, and restricted to the local community. It is advocated by ‘green’ economists as a tool for enabling more sustainable economic development; that is, it is claimed to promote self-reliant communities, overcome cash scarcity (which inhibits economic activity), and incorporate environmental and socially equitable ethics. To test whether this is indeed the case, a social audit of one LETS is conducted. The case study is found to be a small, low-trading rural system with no local import-substitution and limited opportunities for the creation of new economic opportunities. However, there were large social and community benefits and a ‘warm glow’ effect associated with participation; most members were involved for these political and ethical reasons. This characteristic seems to be broadly similar to other LETS.

Gill Seyfang Volume 1(1997) 1

IJCCR vol 1 (1997) 1 Seyfang

To cite this article: Seyfang, G. (1997) ‘Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <> ISSN  1325-9547