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According to "Time" it appears that Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity

Alternative currency comes in many forms. In addition to time banking, there are Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), systems of mutual credit that vary by location. This model was developed by Michael Linton in Canada, though it seems mostly to have taken off in the British Isles; an estimated 40,000 people in the U.K. use these for at least some transactions. (See TIME's Top 10 Everything of 2008)

Similarly, the Community Exchange System (CES) is an online money and banking system and trading marketplace that tracks credits and debits. While LETS's function as clubs that set their own guidelines, CES is administered through an online program that connects local groups to create a global network. The CES website points to more than 100 exchanges in fifteen countries. According to Squires, the Internet has made alternative forms of exchange more viable, as databases can keep account of credits.

In the rarified world of monetary theory, think-tanks are abuzz with ideas about future forms of money. One visionary, Jean-Francois Noubel, the co-founder of AOL-France, foresees "millions of free currencies circulating on the Net and through our cell phones" as money follows the distribution path that media has over the last decade.

Bernard Lietaer, a Belgian economist and author who helped develop the Euro, has proposed the "Terra," a transnational currency backed by established commodities that would co-exist with conventional notes, the monetary equivalent of Esperanto.

In recent years, the impetus for alternative currencies in established economies has stemmed in part from localization movements. Periodically ditching the dollar (or the pound, or the yen) in favor of homegrown currency doesn't merely fortify the local economy, it also builds community: people have a stake in their neighbor's well-being because that neighbor represents both market and supply chain.

Some argue that such transactions are more secure than others because knowing the person you're dealing with (and his family and friends) serves as a kind of social collateral.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 04:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Following is an account of recent revival of local currencies in the US, describing some practical instances of local currency use.

Local currency shows up in Milwaukee

snip:

During a recession, the lease for a restaurant in Great Barrington, Mass., expired. The local bank wouldn't lend restaurateur Frank Tortrello money to move across the street. So Frank decided to print his own. He called them Deli Dollars. Each sold for $9 and could be redeemed for $10 worth of food after six months. Not only did the idea provide Frank with enough money to make his move, but it spread throughout the community. A local farm issued notes with the slogan "In Farms We Trust," featuring the head of a cabbage instead of the head of a president.

snip:

After the creation of federal banking during the Civil War and a federal reserve system in the early 1900s, the variety of money in this country contracted. But in the 1930s, when communities found themselves with products, needs, skills and labor but little money, local currencies made a comeback.
by Loefing on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 05:53:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's see now:

On the front:  Arnie's smiling face

On the back:  The Golden Gate Bridge (of course).

Currency Motto:  "In Twank We Trust"  (Inspiring, isn't it!)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 07:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's a slice of truffle I'll take it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 02:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"microporous tubing" is moving forward; will keep you apprised.  

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 06:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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