Sustainability of local complementary currencies: conclusions from an empirical study in Poland

Grzegorz Sobiecki

SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Poland;

This paper draws out key conclusions from a research project – a pilot empirical study on local complementary currencies (exchange systems). The study comprised 15 interviews with coordinators representing 13 existing alternative currency systems in Poland out of 20 identified. The research was conducted between February and April 2017. The main goal of the study was empirical determination of the factors involved in the rise and fall of alternative currencies systems in Poland and conditions for their survival – that is, sustainability factors. The author demonstrated that, among examined system, two are performing better than the others, and they meet the efficiency conditions: they have a relatively high and stable or growing number of active members and exchanges, and they are constantly developed without reporting any substantial problems. Despite many differences, they have much in common. The analysis of the two examples in comparison with other systems enabled forming a list of sustainability factors and suggestions for the coordinators or initiators concerning how and what to do and what to avoid to make the system more sustainable.

Article Sobiecki

To cite this article: Sobiecki, Grzegorz (2018) ‘Sustainability of local complementary currencies – Conclusions from an empirical study in Poland’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Summer) 105-124 <> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI

Local Exchange Trading Systems in Central European post-Communist Countries

This paper gives information about Local Exchange Trade Systems in the region of former Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary. The transition to a market economy proceeded in different ways in these countries, but similar histories in the last century (communism under Soviet influence) led to only small differences among the countries in the level of motivation and power of their civil societies – and subsequently, in the vitality of LETS circles. In the Czech Republic, the first LETS circle was established in 1999; however, none is active at present. Similarly, in the Slovak Republic, out of 10 to 15 LETS circles formed between 2000 and 2005, only one works at the present time. LETS in Poland developed in the early 90’s but soon declined even though a few groups are still active today. LETS in Hungary was very passive, but there have been new signs and initiatives since 2004.  The possible reasons for such LETS developments in the so-called Visegrad countries are also discussed in this paper.

Jelínek P., Szalay Zs. and Konečný A

To cite this article: Jelínek P., Szalay Zs. and Konečný A. (2012) ‘Local Exchange Trading Systems in Central European post-Communist Countries’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 116-123  <> ISSN  1325-9547

IJCCR 2012 Jelinek