A New Approach to a Typology of Complementary Currencies

Well over 5,000 complementary currency systems have been established worldwide to date. They range from very large systems, such as the WIR-Cooperation Ring, to small neighbour to neighbour exchange circles. Such a diverse range of currency types has developed that it is almost impossible to get an overview of the whole field. This article attempts to strip CC money down to its basic features and then develop a typology of the various complementary currencies. An important foundation for this is the work of the independent American scholar Edwin C. Riegel (1879-1953), who developed his own perspective on money that is still not accepted by mainstream scholarship. This work was revived and further developed by Thomas H. Greco, a contemporary monetary thinker. Another basis is the consideration of money as a purpose-driven means for the organization of human relations. The article presents an evaluation system that enables the characterization of the vast majority of complementary currencies. The typology derived from it allows for a clearer characterization of the individual systems than was possible with previous approaches. This article is an excerpt from a thesis on complementary currencies by the author in The Institute for Research on Management of Associations, Foundations and Cooperatives (VMI) at the Economic and Social Sciences Faculty University of Fribourg/Switzerland.


To cite this article: Martignoni, J. (2012) ‘A New Approach to a Typology of Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (A) 1-17  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.001


IJCCR 2012 Martignoni