Identifying barriers and solutions to adoption of social, complementary and/or virtual currencies

Clara Inés Peña de Carrillo*, Josep Lluís de la Rosa i Esteva**, Paulo Nicolás Carrillo Peña**, Peter Pharow***

* Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, Bucaramanga, Colombia. Email:

** Universitat de Girona, Arlab research group, Girona, Spain

*** Fraunhofer IDMT, Ilmenau, Germany

With the advent of social and mobile networks, new online communities are being created around sustainable topics (e.g. environmental, social, community development). The phenomena, known as digital social innovation, generates a positive ecosystem where business and social development enabled with new behaviors boosted by social, complementary or community currencies deployed as virtual currencies have a great potential for competitiveness, and entrepreneurship, but also for fostering social responsibility in Europe. This document summarizes actions carried out through the Vircoin2SME European community project (social, complementary or community virtual currencies transfer of knowledge to SME: a new era for competitiveness and entrepreneurship) for identification of barriers and their possible solutions to reduce them in the context of the adoption of social, complementary and virtual currencies by SMEs and consumers. The Case Study method allowed identifying these barriers almost at all on the basis of RES (digital currency of Belgium) and Eurakos (virtual currency of Girona, Spain) complementary currencies operation by which the Vircoin2SME researchers had close contact. Data analyzed were taken through observation, being the project researchers’ direct users of these currencies and, the information records stored in databases concerning the users’ interactions (transactions in trades associated with the RES and Eurakos networks). This research was supported by the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 654767.

Article Peña de Carrillo et al

To cite this article: Peña de Carrillo, Clara; de la Rosa i Esteva, Josep Lluís; Carrillo Peña, Paulo Nicolás and Pharow, Peter (2018) ‘Identification of barriers and solutions for adoption of social, complementary and/or virtual currencies” International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Summer) 125-140 <> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI:

From an idea to a scalable working model: Merging economic benefits with social values in Sardex

The remarkable growth of Sardex as a local currency throughout the island of Sardinia over the past 6 years motivated an in-depth look at its starting assumptions, design and operational principles, and socio-economic context. The paper looks at Sardex as a social innovation start-up, a medium of exchange and unit of account, an online and offline mutual credit system, and a closed economic community or ‘circuit’. The analysis relies on semi-structured in-depth interviews of circuit members and benefits from the reflexive point of view of one of its founders. The main findings are that trust was and continues to be fundamentally important for the creation and operation of mutual credit systems and that Sardex encompasses and mediates both economic and social values. Compared to other mutual credit systems, in addition to its unique design features Sardex is distinguished by its federated model of expansion and its strong commitment to keeping a balance between the economic and social aspects. In Sardex, money’s fungibility is defined by market utility and social values at the same time.

Giuseppe Littera *, Laura Sartori **, Paolo Dini ***, Panayotis Antoniadis ****

*, Sardinia, Italy

** Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Università di Bologna, Italy

*** Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, United

**** ETH Zürich and Nethood, CH

Article Littera et al. pdf

To cite this article: Littera, G., Sartori, L., Dini, P. and Antoniadis, P. (2017) ‘From an Idea to a Scalable Working Model: Merging Economic Benefits with Social Values in Sardex’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 21 (Winter) 6-21 ISSN 1325-9547. DOI

Doing it together. Studying the implementation of a new social currency in the Netherlands

In this paper we take Do it Together! (DiT), a social complementary currency (CC) project in two Dutch municipalities, as an interesting example to show how action research with actual projects in the field can add greatly to the development and proliferation of CCs. We argue that action research, collaborative learning and actively sharing the lessons learned from the experiences can help CCs become sustainable and attractive models for use as valuable social (policy) tools in the future. We first describe how the participating organisations and businesses in DiT design and implement a social currency that binds the efforts of their different policies and strategies into a unified framework. Through this co-creative design process, the partners support one another in achieving their own objectives through rewarding desired behaviours of citizens and customers. Secondly, we identify challenges at different levels – micro, meso, and macro – to which the project partners have found several creative solutions. These strategies stem from a broad range of disciplines, bringing psychological, organisational, and institutional theories together in the design process and the resulting currency program. Finally, we assert that reflection on the dynamics and underlying mechanisms of these experiences and processes through action research can enrich a comprehensive understanding and improvement of CCs.

Lydwien A. Batterink*, Edgar A.D. Kampers**, Judith C.V. van der Veer***

* Radboud University, Master student and Qoin, The Netherlands (

** Qoin, co-founder and director, The Netherlands (

*** VU University Amsterdam, PhD, The Netherlands (

Article Batterink-et-al pdf

To cite this article: Batterink, L., Kampers, E. and Van der Veer, J. (2017) ‘Doing it together. Studying the implementation of new social currency in the Netherlands’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 21 (Winter) 22-35 <> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI